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Tuesday Cannon Fodder: ratings

LSU v Iowa Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The NCAA women’s tournament smashed viewership records. The South Carolina - Iowa Final Four game peaked at 6.5M viewers and averaged 5.5M on ESPN — that’s more than any regular season NBA game on the network this season. The final did even better.

All three games this weekend, the Final Four games and the Final, were fantastic, exciting games of basketball. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark is one heck of a player, she shoots the lights out and is a tremendous passer, too. LSU’s Angel Reese is dynamic and unapologetically herself. Clark has another year of eligibility, Reese is just a sophomore. As sports personality Mike Wilbon said, the women’s game is great in part because the stars stay all four years. You can follow their entire college careers and form fan connections with them in ways you can’t do on the men’s side of things where the top players are all one-and-done.

On our sport’s (soccer) side of things, the NWSL just announced an expansion franchise in the Bay Area. That $125M investment includes a $53M franchise fee, with the rest to be put towards training facilities for the club.

The Arsenal women against Bayern Munich Champions League quarterfinal last week drew the largest crowd for a women’s CL ever match in England. The Gunners have regularly set attendance records over the past few years, in particular since the Women’s Euros.

Women’s sports are firmly in the ascendancy. It’s taken far too long, but we’re here. They’ve moved out of the nascent stage and are growing at an eye-popping pace. And I’m very here for it. Get on board or get left behind.