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UConn vs. Iowa March Madness Game Viewership Hits Record High

UConn vs. Iowa Final Four game breaks viewership records with 17 million peak viewers, surpassing previous women's college basketball records.

Friday night's Final Four showdown between UConn and Iowa shattered records as the most-watched women's college basketball game in history, with a peak of 17 million viewers tuning in. ESPN, the broadcaster of the game, reported an average of 14.3 million viewers, making it the highest-rated basketball game in ESPN history. This game also ranks as ESPN's second-best non-football telecast, falling behind only the US men's national team's match against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup, which drew 18.2 million viewers.

Just days before, Iowa and LSU set a women's college basketball viewership record with an average of 12.3 million viewers for their Elite 8 matchup. To put the UConn-Iowa game in perspective, it attracted more viewers than every World Series and NBA Finals game last year, as well as all but five college football games in 2023.

The game featured a thrilling comeback by Iowa, led by star player Caitlin Clark, who overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Despite her efforts, UConn fell short, and Iowa advanced to the national championship game against South Carolina, setting up a rematch of last year's national semifinal, which Iowa won 77-73. South Carolina, the 2017 and 2022 champions, secured their spot in the final by defeating NC State 78-59.

While the South Carolina vs. NC State game drew 7.1 million viewers, significantly less than the UConn-Iowa matchup, it still ranked as the third-best women's national semifinal in history according to ESPN. Iowa will be seeking their first national championship title as they face off against South Carolina in the highly anticipated final showdown on Sunday.

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