Women's NCAA Tournament Game Draws More Viewers Than Every NBA Game On ESPN

More fans watched Iowa beat Louisville in the women's NCAA Tournament than any NBA game on ESPN this season.

Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes hammered the Cardinals 97-83 Sunday, and the game drew 2.499 million viewers on ESPN.

That's more than any NBA game has drawn on the network all season, according to The Athletic.

The most-watched NBA game of the season on ESPN was the March 5 matchup between the Knicks and Celtics. That game drew 2.14 million viewers, according to Showbuzz Daily (via Hawkeyes Wire).

Not only did Iowa/Louisville beat every NBA game on ESPN this season, but the margin was substantial.

People love basketball, but just don't love the NBA.

Following record men's March Madness ratings, OutKick's Dan Zaksheske correctly noted people love watching basketball - as long as it's not the NBA.

The opening rounds of action of the NCAA Tournament averaged roughly 2.5x as many viewers of the early rounds of the NBA playoffs last year.

It was a staggering 9.3 million people compared to just 3.7 million viewers for the NBA in the early playoff rounds.

Now, the women's tournament is even beating NBA games broadcast on ESPN. It's just the latest example that Americans crave basketball. It's a sport people love watching, but they don't want any of the woke junk that comes with it.

The NBA has gone out of its way to be woke. Social justice messages have been featured on courts and messages, players refuse to stand for the anthem and LeBron James has never seen a camera he didn't like complaining into.

None of that exists in college basketball. It's just pure fun and excitement. Whether it's the men's tournament or the women, it's clear fans prefer it over the woke NBA.

Even if the women's tournament has just a tiny fraction of the popularity of the men's game, it's still putting up ratings that beat the NBA on ESPN. That really tells you all you need to know.

People crave fun basketball and reject woke nonsense at every turn. The college game is full of whacky moments, upsets, coaches giving fans authentic moments and it doesn't trash the great country we all call home.

Can the same be said about the NBA? Not really. The league and its stars refuse to criticize China, but have no problem kneeling during the anthem.

With the men's Final Four starting Saturday and the women's starting Friday, it should be interesting to see what kind of numbers the next slate of games draw. Something tells me the matchups should, once again, easily beat the NBA.

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.