Another March has come and gone, another year of madness ensued, another year of millions of brackets busted in the first weekend, and another year where two new college basketball champions were crowned. The UCONN Men’s Basketball team capped off their stellar March by defeating San Diego State 76-59 to win their fifth national championship in program history. 

On the women’s side, LSU capped off their remarkable season by beating Iowa 102-85 to win their first title in program history. 

While at first glance this seems like any other ordinary March Madness, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. This was the year where women’s basketball took center stage and made their presence known during March. The women basked in the spotlight this year breaking five viewership records on ESPN and setting a new standard for women’s college basketball.

Stars such as Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, LSU’s Angel Reese, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith, and Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore used the national spotlight to put on stellar performances that captivated the nation.

From Caitlin Clark’s 40 point triple double, to Angel Reese setting the record for most double-doubles in a single season, the ladies were putting the nation on notice that women’s college basketball is just as competitive, skillful, and exciting as men’s college basketball. 

Viewership numbers back this sentiment up as well. According to Axios, overall viewership of the women’s tournament is up 42% from last year. Forbes also reported that the Women’s National Championship game was the most watched women’s college basketball game ever and peaked at 12.6 million viewers. It was also the most streamed sporting event ever on ESPN+.

It wasn’t just viewership records that were broken this year, the women also broke the attendance record for the tournament as 357,542 fans attended the tournament. Ticket pricing also saw a new precedent set as women’s Final Four tickets were on average $331 which was $97 more than the average men’s Final Four tickets which had an average price of $234. 

In a year where the women made big noise, it’ll be interesting to see if next year they set even more records as it’s quite clear that women’s college basketball is on the rise to becoming a household sport.