You Can Bet on Caitlin Clark Making Threes. The N.C.A.A. Isn’t Happy.

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Americans will wager $2.7 billion on the N.C.A.A. basketball tournaments this year, raising concerns about what happens to sports when people bet on the performances of student athletes.

Iowa crushed its opponent to start the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament this year, with Caitlin Clark, the sport’s shining superstar, finishing with 27 points to help the Hawkeyes cruise past Holy Cross. But for many, Clark blew it.

She scored six and a half points fewer than what many bettors expected she would, in what’s known as a prop bet, which allow gamblers to wager on outcomes beyond the results of the game.

As Iowa faces Louisiana State tonight, in a widely anticipated rematch of last year’s national championship, betting on an individual’s performance has increasingly been on the rise. How many three pointers Clark will make. How many assists Alabama’s point guard will accumulate. How many rebounds L.S.U. forward Angel Reese will pull down.

On FanDuel, one of the main gambling sites, there is a tab on the main page just for Clark’s games.

The wagering is the latest signal of the growing popularity of women’s basketball. According to BetMGM, there have been 2.5 times as many bets placed on women’s basketball as last year. Clark has received the second-most bets of any player, man or woman, in both events. Americans will legally wager $2.7 billion on the men’s and women’s N.C.A.A. tournament this year, according to the American Gaming Association.

More gambling means more people watching. That has forced athletes and schools to deal with how many viewers now react to a missed shot, blown assignment or turnover.

On Wednesday, Charlie Baker, the president of the N.C.A.A., said that he wanted to ban bets like the ones placed on Clark against Holy Cross.

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