ESPN Registers a Milestone With Women's Final Four

Semifinals see record-high ratings, and most ever for men or women on ESPN+
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2023 6:15 AM CDT
Her Star Power Brings Record Ratings to Women's Final Four
Iowa's Caitlin Clark celebrates after her team's win against South Carolina Friday, March 31, 2023, in Dallas. Iowa won 77-73 to advance to the championship on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

This year's women bracket of the NCAA tournament has been generating an unusual amount of buzz, thanks in no small part to Iowa sensation Caitlin Clark. Friday night's pair of semifinal games proved the point with record-setting ratings. An average of 3.4 million viewers watched LSU beat Virginia Tech, and an average of 5.5 million watched Iowa beat South Carolina in the late game, reports Sports Illustrated. Those numbers are up 57% and 72% respectively over last year, and they are the biggest numbers ever recorded on ESPN+ for any college basketball game—women or men, says ESPN. Clark had 41 points in Iowa's win, marking the first time a female player has had consecutive games with at least 40 points in the tournament, notes the AP.

  • Women's final: Iowa and LSU play at 3:30pm Eastern on Sunday in the women's championship game on ABC, per USA Today. Both teams will be vying for their first national title.
  • For the men: San Diego State University and Connecticut will play for the championship Monday night. SDSU advanced Saturday with a 72-71 win over Florida Atlantic University, and UConn had an easier time with a 72-59 win over Miami. See the bracket.
(More women's college basketball stories.)

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