On Monday night, the UConn women’s basketball team won its 100th game in a row, defeating sixth ranked South Carolina, 66-59 in Storrs, Connecticut.While winning 100 games in a row is an incredible feat, the question NO ONE is asking: how bad is women’s college basketball when that is even possible?
For perspective, the great UCLA coach John Wooden only won 88 games in a row — still the NCAA men’s record.
So how did Geno Auriemma guide his team to 100 wins* without slipping up since November 2014?
“Well UConn is a member of the powderpuff American Athletic Conference.”
Yes, but their male counterparts in the same conference manage to lose.
The last NCAA Division I men’s team to complete ONE perfect season?
The UConn women currently have two and counting.
Their last loss came at sixth ranked Stanford…November 17, 2014.“Well they haven’t played a difficult non-conference schedule.” (Looking at you Baylor Football)
The list below are the ranked teams UConn has played since their last loss, all wins.
2014-15: #2 Notre Dame (twice), #25 DePaul, #10 Duke, #1 South Carolina and #4 Maryland
2015-16: #7 Ohio State, #23 DePaul, #3 Notre Dame, #11 Florida State, #6 Maryland, #22 South Florida, #2 South Carolina, #20 South Florida, #21 South Florida, #15 Mississppi State, #7 Texas, #6 Oregon State and #14 Syracuse
2016-17: #12 Florida State, #2 Baylor, #15 DePaul, #14 Texas, #2 Notre Dame, #4 Maryland, #12 Ohio State, #20 South Florida, #6 South Carolina and #23 Temple
When UConn played second ranked Baylor earlier this season, they were ranked third.
Even though UConn had a 76 game winning streak at the time, and were the four time defending NCAA women’s basketball champions, they were third.
UConn still has one game remaining against a ranked opponent in American Athletic Conference play. The Huskies travel to Tampa to take on South Florida on Monday night to close out the regular season.
That would bring the total number of games against ranked opponents to 11 for the 2016-17 season.
Every year both the men and women stage mini tournaments throughout the first two months of the season, including the Jimmy V Classic and Pearl Harbor Invitational.
On the men’s side, these tournaments feature powerhouse teams including Kansas, Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky.
Each of these teams has slipped up against ranked competition.
So how has UConn, a squad that has played 28 ranked teams in the past two plus seasons, scathed through squeaky clean?
Since failing to make the Final Four of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tournament, UConn has made the next eight, winning six titles in that span — including last year’s championship game against Syracuse.
The only comparison on the men’s side, are John Wooden’s ridiculous seven straight titles from 1967 to 1973.
There is a reason Geno Auriemma has coached the USA Women’s National Team since 2009. If you get in his way, he will destroy you.No other team has competed with UConn since 2012.
Some may come close, but UConn is simply hot to handle. Go back and read that list of ranked “good” teams UConn has played.
Not one of them came away with a win.
UConn is the Harlem Globetrotters of women’s college basketball.Every other team is the 1-16,000 Washington Generals.
In 2015, the Globetrotters said enough and announced they would no longer schedule matches against the Generals, causing them to disband.
In case you are not a big Harlem Globetrotters fan, think of it this way.
At the Rio Olympics last August, 19 year old swimming phenom Katie Ledecky nearly lapped a couple competitors in the 800 meters freestyle final.
Afterwards, NPR columnist Bill Chappell wrote, “There are no women in the world who can swim faster than Katie Ledecky in her freestyle events.”Paraphrasing Bill, there are no women’s college basketball teams who can score more than the Connecticut Huskies in a game, regular season or otherwise.
I sometimes wonder how these other “good” women’s teams feel.
Like Katie Ledecky’s opponents, they might be good enough to win silver or bronze, but UConn gold is so far ahead of them, they’re not even on the television screen anymore.