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Women outshine men in NCAA final TV viewership


For the first time, more people watched the NCAA women’s basketball final game than the men’s, Nielsen said Tuesday.

The hyped game in which the Iowa Hawkeyes and record-breaking star Caitlin Clark took on, and lost to, No. 1-seeded South Carolina drew more than 18.9 million views Sunday, according to ESPN and the audience rating company.

The men’s Connecticut vs. Purdue game Monday had 4 million fewer viewers, with 14.8 million, Nielsen said.

It was the first time ever that the audience for the women’s final was larger than the men’s, according to Nielsen.

The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the woman’s final 87-75 and, in so doing, denied Iowa its chance at a first national title.

With the win, South Carolina had the 10th perfect season in the history of Division I women’s basketball.

In the men’s final, defending champs UConn became the first team since 2007 to win back-to-back national titles, beating Purdue on Monday 75-60.

It was UConn’s sixth national title overall, and the program joined just three others that have that many or more — UCLA (11), Kentucky (8) and North Carolina (6).


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