LSU wins NCAA Women’s Championship

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

The NCAA Championships premiered this weekend, with the Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournaments coming to an end. On the women’s side last Friday, third-ranked LSU took on a second-ranked Iowa. The game was played to an impressive one hundred points, with the LSU Tigers coming out on top with a score of 102-85. 

For women’s basketball, this game was nothing short of legendary. In terms of numbers and reception, it was the most watched college women’s basketball game ever, averaging around 9.9 million viewers. These numbers notably outgrow several male professional sporting events, even in their postseason games. These insane numbers could hint at a growing interest in women’s sports, and definitely showcased the skills on the court that night. 

The ticket prices also serve to show the amount of hype surrounding this game. Some tickets were going for far higher than the men’s games. The lowest cost for one ticket in the final game was right under 400 dollars before taxes and fees the day before the game. On the men’s side, some tickets were still being sold for lower than 50 dollars the night before. 

Even better, the masses who tuned into the match were able to see the LSU Tigers win their first NCAA Championship ever. The Tigers had never even made it to the NCAA Championships in program history, much less earned a national title. This game also allowed LSU to set a record for the highest amount of points scored in a women’s basketball championship game. 

Outside of numbers, the game itself was exhilarating, despite the final score suggesting somewhat of an LSU domination. The most notable player on LSU was Angel Reese, who posted 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block. Reese received a fair amount of media coverage after the game, highlighting her taunts towards Iowa’s players and her skill on the court. It wasn’t just Reese who took her team ahead; many other players also stood strong to round out the Tigers performance. Jasmine Carson had 22 points, Alexis Morris had 20 points and LaDazhia Williams had 20 points. 

On Iowa’s side, another notable player stood strong in the heat of LSU’s offense. One of the most talented young players in NCAA basketball at the moment, Caitlin Clark, posted 30 points and eight assists. Clark has performed infamously well throughout the tournament, being the first player to score over 40 points in both the quarterfinals and semifinal games. 

Clark was also named 2023 national player of the year and broke the record of most points scored in a women’s tournament. She broke the previous record of 177 by scoring 191 points this tournament. 

What also made this game so special was the reaction from LSU coach Kim Mulkey, who burst into tears in the final seconds of the game. After this championship, she became the first women’s coach to win national titles at two different universities, and she did so in a sequined tiger-striped pantsuit. 

With a crowd of 19,482 in attendance, this game will go down in history for NCAA Women’s College Basketball, at least until next year. Over 350,000 people showed up to watch the women’s competition this March, setting another new record. This showed some promising reception for the future of college women’s sports.

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