Iowa-UConn Final Four matchup breaks record for most-watched women's college basketball game

Another Iowa women's basketball game, another new record for the sport when it comes to attendance.

Iowa's 71-69 victory over UConn on Friday night in Cleveland set a new record for the most-watched women's college basketball game in history. The game was watched by 14.2 million people and reached 17 million viewers. The news was first reported by Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register.

The game tops the previous all-time attendance record, which was set when Iowa won against LSU on Monday. 12.3 million viewers on average and reached 16 million viewers.

Of course, Iowa wasn't alone in the audience. UConn has long held the game's viewership standard, and the Huskies' win in Monday's other Elite Eight contest drew 6.7 million viewers, surpassing every title game audience since 1996 except last year's championship. Viewership for UConn-USC rose to 10.4 million viewers.

The expectation among most sports media people is that Sunday's title game between undefeated South Carolina and Iowa will set a new all-time mark. The only question is how tall will it be?

When looking at four potential championship game matchups and ranking their audience capacity from highest to lowest, South Carolina and Iowa tied for No. 1. AthleticPrediction of Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal said he could see the game hitting 18 million viewers, while John Lewis of Sports Media Watch predicted the game would draw 16-17 million viewers, surpassing the Men's College Basketball Finals.

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“I think 20 million can play,” Lewis said. “The undefeated team and Caitlin Clarke are tied now.”

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(Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

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