Dawn Staley and her South Carolina Gamecocks won the 2022 NCAA title in dominant fashion.
And 4.85 million people tuned in to watch the Gamecocks hoist their program’s second championship trophy.
South Carolina never trailed en route to a 64-49 win against Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies, but even despite airing at the same time as the 2022 Grammys, the battle of two women’s college basketball powerhouses drew in more viewers than any other title game in nearly two decades.
According to ESPN, viewership increased 19% since last year’s championship matchup between the Arizona Wildcats and eventual champion Stanford Cardinal, while the numbers jumped by 30% from the 2019 title game, the last championship before the pandemic. And the ratings weren’t just good for a women’s college basketball game. The Gamecocks’ 15-point victory attracted more eyes than the vast majority of college football bowl games from the 2021-2022 season.