NCAAW March Madness

Austin Ruzbarsky 
Stillman News Writer

In the 2024 March Madness tournament, both the men’s and women’s divisions showcased thrilling basketball action, upsets, and remarkable performances. Both tournaments this year were a celebration of basketball brilliance, exciting duo matchups, memorable moments, and the crowning of worthy champions.

The 2024 Women’s March Madness tournament honored the commitment and hard work of the NCAAW. It provided a stage for noteworthy events, inspirational performances, and a national celebration of women’s sports. This time around in March would be nothing you would expect, it was women’s time to shine. Headlining the women’s march madness was Caitlin Clark and Iowa. Caitlin Clark broke one of the most prestigious basketball records known back in February, she broke the NCAA scoring record amongst males and females passing Kelsey Plum. This allowed for tons of attention and population to surround women’s basketball. This wasn’t the only record Clark broke. All six rounds of the NCAA Division One Women’s Basketball Tournament saw record viewership, with the NCAA championship game between South Carolina and Iowa drawing an average of 18.7 million viewers on ABC and ESPN, an 89% increase over the previous year’s final.

Dawn Staley coach of South Carolina Women’s Basketball (Photo courtesy by John Leuzzi, Greenville online)

Not just for the Clark games, but for all of the tournament, attendance was up. ratings as well, with the championship game drawing a record audience of 18.7 million—the most for any basketball broadcast in the previous five years. Everything from Clark to USC freshman standout Juju Watkins to the officiating was buzzing on social media. It was the most-watched basketball game men’s or women’s, college or professional since 2019 and the most-watched women’s basketball game of all time, with a peak audience of 24 million viewers. Many exceptional players, including Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, the two-time College Player of the Year, the all-time top scorer in Division One history, and the career top scorer in NCAA March Madness history for both men’s and women’s teams, were responsible for the viewing records. Other notable players who contributed to increasing viewer interest were Juju Watkins of USC, Angel Reese of LSU, Paige Bueckers of UConn, and Kamilla Cardoso, the defensive player of the year, for the undefeated March Madness-winning South Carolina Gamecocks.

Caitlin Clark embodies the energy and skill that characterize this exciting occasion. Her on-court exploits enthrall spectators and serve as a reminder of the extraordinary talent and athleticism possessed by female basketball players. Clark’s legacy will surely inspire upcoming players and fans as she continues to leave her mark on the game, having a long-lasting effect on the sport of basketball for everyone around the world.


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