Coming from Connecticut, I follow UConn women’s basketball with great pride. Back in 2003, when UConn had a streak of 70 games I couldn’t believe how dominant a team they were. Local media has always loved the UConn women and CPTV (the Connecticut PBS affiliate) had the foresight many years ago to broadcast the games. They’re the home for UConn women’s basketball as well as The Geno Auriemma Show, a one-hour, candid conversation where the coach shares his strategies and thoughts about his top-ranked team.
On the other coast (where I now live) , the UCLA men’s basketball team enjoyed an astonishing 88 game winning streak a little more than a quarter century ago, . Many thought that the UCLA team, led by famed coach John Wooden, would hold the Division I college basketball record forever.
Surprise! The record was tied today when the top-ranked Connecticut women’s basketball team trounced No. 11 Ohio State, 81-50, in the Maggie Dixon Classic before a Garden-record women’s basketball crowd of 15,232. With 40 seconds left in the game, fans rose and chanted “88! 88!”
Tiffany Hayes scored 26 points and Maya Moore added 22 for top-ranked UConn, which already owns the longest winning streak in NCAA women’s basketball history.
Coincidentally, the 88th straight win came against Coach Geno Auriemma’s good friend Jim Foster, who gave him his coaching start. Auriemma was an assistant for the girls team under Foster back when both were at Bishop McDevitt High School in Philadelphia.
With the Huskies’ 88th straight victory many would say it gives them a share of that iconic college basketball record. Plenty however disagree.
So how does UCLA’s 88-game win streak from 1971-74 compare with UConn’s present run? Plenty of bloggers are debating the topic over at WomenTalkSports.com. There are strong arguments on both sides, though both agree that the men’s and women’s games are very different in how they are played.
Another unbeaten regular season could take them to 108 wins, a Big East title to 111, and a third straight national championship to 117.
A huge speed bump stands on Dec. 30 when the Huskies play at No. 3 Stanford. The Cardinal is the last team to beat UConn – in a national semifinal on April 6, 2008 – and is one of the two teams to come within 10 points during the streak. The closest call was a one-point win over Baylor Nov. 17.
The Huskies (10-0) can surpass UCLA on Tuesday night at home against No. 15 Florida State.
Women’s D-I Winning Streaks