South Carolina’s win against Caitlin Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes in the women’s NCAA championship drew a preliminary audience average of 18.7 million on ABC and ESPN, with viewership expected to rise upon Nielsen’s final release.

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Nielsen reported a peak audience of 24 million. This marks the most-viewed basketball game since 2019, surpassing the men’s NCAA title game’s 19.6 million average on CBS.

According to ESPN, the only sporting events with bigger audiences were the NFL, World Cup, and the Olympics. The last basketball game to grab 18 million eyes was the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.


In a thrilling showdown, the South Carolina Gamecocks emerged victorious over the Iowa Hawkeyes, securing their third national championship under coach Dawn Staley and capping off a flawless 2023-24 season. The Gamecocks avenged their only loss from the previous season, defeating Iowa 87-75 in a hard-fought battle.

Last season’s stunning defeat to Iowa in the semifinals served as a motivating factor for South Carolina, driving them to reclaim the national title and end their season on a high note. The victory also marked the end of an illustrious college career for Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who, despite her remarkable achievements, fell short in the championship game once again.

Freshman guard Tessa Johnson emerged as a standout performer for the Gamecocks, surpassing her scoring average with a stellar display throughout the tournament. Johnson’s stellar performance, coupled with contributions from key role players, propelled South Carolina to victory, despite a valiant effort from Iowa’s Clark.

Clark, playing her final game for the Hawkeyes, showcased her scoring prowess with 30 points on 10-of-28 shooting. However, South Carolina’s relentless defensive effort limited her effectiveness, ultimately tipping the scales in favor of the Gamecocks.

“I wanna personally thank Caitlin Clark for lifting up our sport, she carried a heavy load,” Coach Staley said. “When she’s the number 1 pick in the WNBA draft she’s gonna lift that league up as well. So Caitlin if you’re out there you are one of the GOATS.”

The Gamecocks’ dominance extended beyond the scoreboard, as they asserted control in various aspects of the game, including rebounding, second-chance points, and bench scoring. South Carolina’s relentless defensive effort limited Iowa’s offensive opportunities and paved the way for their triumph.

With a remarkable season culminating in an unbeaten national championship, South Carolina solidified its status as a powerhouse in college basketball. The victory not only secured Coach Staley a significant bonus but also highlighted the team’s resilience and determination to achieve greatness on the court. As celebrations ensued, the Gamecocks basked in the glory of their triumph, marking a historic moment in their basketball legacy.

Dawn Staley has made history as the first African American college basketball coach to win three national championships, and her rising popularity is reflected in her social media activity. The analytical team at CasinoenligneGuru conducted an analysis and observed a significant increase in her Instagram following, indicative of her growing popularity. For instance, on March 8, 2024, she had 327,097 followers, but just a month later, this number surged to 345,199. Gaining over 18,000 fans in a month is indeed an impressive achievement for an influencer.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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