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South Carolina-Iowa title game sets betting handle record

Caitlin Clark came up short in her quest to lead Iowa to the national championship in her final college game.

But the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer helped break the record for most-bet women’s basketball game ever for the third straight time in the NCAA Tournament in Sunday’s 87-75 loss to South Carolina.

The Gamecocks’ win and cover over the Hawkeyes as 6½-point favorites was the most-bet women’s sporting event in BetMGM history, the sportsbook posted on X.

The Westgate SuperBook, Station Casinos and South Point also reported a record betting handle, or amount of money wagered, on the game.

“We’ve been setting records all week and this one blew away the old record,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said.

The previous two record handles were set in Iowa’s wins over Connecticut on Friday in the Elite Eight and over Louisiana State in last week’s Sweet 16.

“Ticket count for Iowa-South Carolina about the same as either of (Saturday’s) men’s Final Four games,” Andrews posted on X. “Handle similar to a well-bet college football game. (Women’s basketball) has come a long way.”

Clark scored 18 points in the first quarter to help Iowa jump out to a 20-9 lead. South Carolina stormed back to take a 3-point lead at halftime and a nine-point lead after three quarters.

Iowa cut its deficit to 80-75 with 4:13 left. But South Carolina ended the game on a 7-0 run to finish the year undefeated (38-0) a year after its perfect season was spoiled by the Hawkeyes in the Final Four.

Clark, expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft on April 15, finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists in her second consecutive title-game loss.

Sportsbooks won on the game as most of the money wagered was on Iowa.

“We were South Carolina fans,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “It was a huge handle and huge ticket count. It was just crazy, the demand for it and the amount of wagers.

“This was, by far, the biggest one of three straight games where the ticket count and money bet on each game outdid the previous game.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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