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Caitlin Clark, Iowa vs LSU March Madness matchup draws record ratings

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Monday's Iowa-LSU Elite Eight matchup was the most-watched women's college basketball game on record.

The game had 12.3 million viewers, surpassing the 9.9 million from last year's championship game featuring the same two teams.

It also was ESPN's most viewed college game ever, men's or women's.

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Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes shoots the ball over Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Tigers during the first half in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on April 01, 2024 in Albany, New York.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

That number beats all but one of the men's March Madness tournament, all but one NBA Finals game, and all World Series games. Viewership peaked at 16 million.

Monday's rematch was a thriller from start to finish, which was expected with the two powerhouses. But many tuned in for the storylines.

LSU's Angel Reese famously taunted Caitlin Clark of Iowa in the final minutes of last year's championship game with the "You Can't See Me" celebration and pointed to her ring finger, signifying she was about to win a championship ring.

Reese received criticism, which Clark, boisterous herself, said she didn't deserve "at all." But the drama was there, and a record number of people tuned in.

FILE - LSU's Angel Reese reacts in front of Iowa's Caitlin Clark during the second half of the NCAA Women's Final Four championship basketball game April 2, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

HALL OF FAMER PAUL PIERCE 'DIDN'T EXPECT' CAITLIN CLARK TO DOMINATE 'BLACK GIRLS' FROM LSU

With the game tied at 45 at the half, Iowa went on an 8-0 run to

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