Iowa-UConn draws 14.2 million viewers, most in women's college basketball history

Iowa’s 71-69 win against UConn in Friday’s NCAA Final Four game drew 14.2 million viewers, the most in women’s college basketball history, according to ESPN.

The matchup produced the largest audience for a basketball game — college or professional — and was the second-best non-football telecast ever for the network.

Friday’s figure is higher than every World Series and NBA Finals game last year. ESPN said the game peaked at 17 million viewers.

Iowa vs. UConn bested a viewership record set just days prior when the Hawkeyes defeated LSU in the Elite Eight on Monday with 12.3 million viewers.

Caitlin Clark, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history, once again had a big game to lead the Hawkeyes over the Huskies. She dropped 21 points — below her 31.7 points-per-game average — but was complemented by sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke’s game-high 23 points.

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes (Steph Chambers / Getty Images)
Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes (Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

South Carolina’s dominant 78-59 win against N.C. State in the previous Final Four game peaked at 9 million viewers. ESPN said the 2024 Final Four’s 10.8 million average viewership is up 138% year over year.

South Carolina has not lost a game this season.

“South Carolina has been the top of the top,” Clark said after Friday’s win. “They’re in a different league. We’re going to do everything we can to try to be right there with them.”

The Hawkeyes and Gamecocks will meet for the national championship Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

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