LSU beats Iowa to win 1st NCAA title, posting record triple-digit point game
Louisiana State University's Tigers bested University of Iowa's Hawkeyes 102-85 to win their first national basketball title in school history. Despite yet another stellar performance from Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, the Hawkeyes' late comeback run couldn't match LSU's offensive stride.
It was just one of many records posted in the NCAA women's final game. Here are some more firsts from the most-viewed women's March Madness ever:
- A women's team broke the 100-point mark for the first time in a national championship game. The 102 points the Tigers put up passed the previous record of 97 points that Texas scored against Southern California in 1986.
- LSU's Kim Mulkey became the first women's coach to win national titles at two different schools. (And the first to do it outfitted in a flashy, sequined tiger-striped pantsuit, no less.)
- Iowa's Clark set the NCAA record for most points in a tournament, 191, smashing the 177-point record set by Sheryl Swoopes in 1993. Also notable: During this year's Elite Eight round, Clark became the first player — men's or women's — to achieve a 40-point triple-double in an NCAA tournament game.
Interest in women's college basketball has skyrocketed
The women's tournament has been smashing viewership records – part of a surging interest in women's college basketball in recent years. Buoyed by star power (Caitlin Clark and Aliyah Boston, namely), this year's Final Four matchups were the two most-watched (men's or women's) college basketball games ever on ESPN and its streaming service ESPN+, averaging 4.5 million viewers.
Ticket prices have reflected the excitement. Tickets for this year's women's tournament have been going for prices far higher than the men's games. On the secondary market, the lowest cost for a single ticket for the final women's game was just under $400, before taxes and fees, on the day before the game. Some nosebleed prices for the men's championship game on Monday were going for lower than $50 on Ticketmaster on Sunday night.
Correction: April 2, 2023
An earlier version of this story misstated the site of the 2023 men's NCAA basketball finals. It will be played in Houston.