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Photo via Seton Hall Sports Poll

Iowa's Cailtin Clark claims Women’s Basketball is more popular than Men’s, Polling Data agrees

Following Iowa’s blowout victory over Holy Cross in March 2023, Caitlin Clark made comments suggesting women’s college basketball is more popular than men’s this season. 

“People are more excited about the women’s side than the men’s side,” Clark told reporters.  

Clark’s comment garnered criticism from ESPN fans. Under ESPN’s post about the comment, one fan posted a “disagree button”. The comment received one hundred and twenty-nine thousand likes.  

While Clark has received backlash for her bold comment, polling data backs her claim. 

The most popular player in college basketball is Clark, according to data from the Seton Hall Sports Poll. Forty-four percent of the general population has heard of the Iowa star, while sixty percent of NCAA fans heard of Clark.

The next most popular player is Angel Reese. Reese is a women’s basketball player from the Louisiana State University Tigers. She led the Tigers to a national championship last season. Eighteen percent of the public has heard of Reese, polling from the Seton Hall Sports Poll reports. 

Hunter Dickenson, a men’s basketball player for the Kansas Jayhawks, is the third most popular player. Eleven percent of the public has heard of Dickenson, the Seton Hall Sports Poll reports. The Kansas star is projected to be a second-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.  

The Purdue Boilermaker’s Zach Edey is shortly behind Dickenson. After Edey are Paige Buckers and Cameron Brink, who are both women’s basketball stars, while men’s basketball stars Armando Bacot, Tyler Kolek, and Kyle Fillopowski follow, data from the Seton Hall Sports poll shows. 

This data shows four of the six most popular college basketball players are women. Another finding from the Seton Hall Sports Poll shows the growth in women’s college basketball. Seventy-three percent of NCAA fans believe women’s college basketball is more popular than ever, data from the Seton Hall Sports Poll reports.   

While controversial, Clark’s claims about women’s college basketball have merit. 

Justin Lotito writes for the Setonian’s sports section. He can be reached at 

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