In a thrilling finale to the women’s college basketball season, the showdown between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Caitlin Clark-led Iowa Hawkeyes captivated audiences like never before.

The NCAA championship game proved to be a historic moment as it drew in a staggering 18.87 million viewers on ABC and ESPN, outshining the men’s final in a monumental first.

The Gamecocks’ 87-75 victory over the Hawkeyes marked a significant milestone in basketball history, with more eyes glued to the women’s game than ever before. While the men’s final saw UConn clinch victory over Purdue, it fell short in viewership compared to the electrifying clash between South Carolina and Iowa.

Despite the men’s final attracting around 4 million fewer viewers, the women’s game stole the spotlight, showcasing women’s basketball’s immense talent and excitement. Even throughout March Madness, a particular Elite Eight matchup between North Carolina State and Duke held the title for the most-watched game, underscoring the growing prominence of women’s basketball on the national stage.

Gamecocks win

Not only did the women’s final surpass expectations in viewership, but it also left an indelible mark in sporting history. With a peak of 24 million viewers, it stood as the most-watched basketball game since 2019, rivaling even the biggest events in sports like football and the Olympics.

The emotional intensity of the game was palpable, especially for standout players like Caitlin Clark, whose collegiate journey concluded without the coveted championship title. Yet, amidst the celebrations for the victorious Gamecocks, there was recognition and respect for Clark’s remarkable contributions to the sport.

As the spotlight now shifts to the WNBA draft, where Clark is poised to make waves as the potential No. 1 pick, the legacy of this historic women’s final is sure to endure. With gratitude and admiration, Staley affirmed Clark’s status as one of the greatest of all time, a testament to her enduring impact on the game.

Cover Photo: YouTube

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