Iowa women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark is setting all kinds of records during the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Not only is the Hawkeyes’ star putting up numbers that have never been seen in women’s college basketball, but she’s also helped make Final Four history in terms of TV ratings.
An average of 5.5 million people watched Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women’s basketball team upset South Carolina in the Final Four Friday night. The national semifinal matchup generated better viewership than each of the last 17 NCAAW national championship games, according to Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp.
An average of 4.85 million people watched South Carolina defeat UConn to win the 2022 women’s Division-1 college basketball championship. In the previous year, 4.07 million watched the national title game.
At one point, 6.6 million people were watching Clark on her way to scoring 41 points in Iowa’s 77-73 win over South Carolina in the Final Four. It became the third most-watched women’s NCAA tournament game in ESPN history, according to Sports Media Watch. It’s been 15 years since a men’s college basketball game on ESPN was watched by more people than Iowa’s Final Four victory.
Clark receives much of the credit for the boom in NCAAW TV ratings. The junior guard’s record-setting performances have made her one of the biggest stars in all of college basketball.
Clark registered the only 40-point triple-double in women’s tournament history in the Elite Eight. She’s scored 41 points in consecutive games. Clark scored or assisted on all of Iowa’s 18 fourth-quarter points against South Carolina.
South Carolina was the reigning national champion and undefeated in the 2022-2023 season before being upset by Iowa.
Clark will try to lead Iowa to its first-ever national championship when the Hawkeyes take on LSU Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET in the final game of March Madness.
The post Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes’ Final Four upset makes NCAAW history not seen since 2004 appeared first on ClutchPoints.