LSU's Angel Reese alongside Iowa's Caitlin Clark Angel Reese (10) shows Iowa Caitlin Clark her ring finger during the final seconds of the women’s NCAA Tournament national championship game. Syndication Hawkcentral

The Iowa Hawkeyes and the LSU Tiger battled it out in a highly anticipated Elite Eight matchup in the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Monday night. And as you would expect, the viewership numbers from the game did now disappoint.

Both teams have some obvious star power. From LSU’s side, both Hailey Van Lith and Angel Reese have developed a pretty massive following. And of course for Iowa, Caitlin Clark has become a sensation when it comes to her popularity not only as a female athlete, but as an athlete regardless of gender.

The game ended up being a highly competitive back-and-forth affair, with both sides looking like they could have pulled away with it at the end.

Ultimately, Caitlin Clark led her Iowa team to victory on the back of a truly special performance, scoring 41 points on nine three-point makes, a record in an NCAA Tournament game.

Naturally, this kind of close game certainly helps viewership numbers as well. And according to ESPN PR, it was a historic game for the game of women’s college basketball. A total of 12.3 million viewers tuned into the matchup, the most of any women’s college basketball game on record.

It was also a historic night for ESPN as a platform overall. The 12.3 million viewers was the most of any college basketball game, men’s or women’s, in the history of the platform.

Everyone knew that viewership numbers would be great from this game. But even the most optimistic of fans didn’t exactly expect this kind of attention. Many took to social media to offer their surprise at these huge numbers.

This just shows how big of a draw both Clark and Reese truly are. And hopefully, this trend will continue throughout the rest of the tournament.


About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.