I will readily admit it: the streak talk, endless discussion by people who love it and loathe it has been ever present on my mind since Baylor came to Hartford and couldn't stop the Huskies.
In the past week or so the talk ramped up. And in the last three days, the talk has all but made me want to either a) jump off a bridge to get away from it or b) hop on a plane and fly to the destination of some of the haters and try my damndest to knock some sense into them. Neither has happened, thankfully.
Instead, I decided talk to someone about just how hard it would be to maintain a streak of 89 anythings in the world - much less the world of basketball. I figure those who consider themselves pundits have done enough critiquing. Time to get a couple words from someone in the basketball biz. My victim: Oklahoma State women's basketball head coach Kurt Budke.
Budke's resume includes streaks of his own, but his streaks have been drastically different from Geno Auriemma's runs of 70 and now 89 consecutive games won. No one, other than the late, great John Wooden, can even fathom a streak that nears triple-digits in the world of NCAA college basketball.
\When Budke arrived to Stillwater, the Cowgirls suffered through a 17-game losing streak to end the 2005-06 season. A 26-game conference road losing streak was stopped in 2006-07. But prior to coaching the Cowgirls, Budke was at the helm of a Lousisiana Tech squad that had a 29-game winning streak of their own. Often people refer to basketball as a 'game of runs', but stringing together multiple wins - or losses - is certainly different than stringing together a few minutes of layups and 3-pointers in the midst of game play.
Budke says this is the last streak of this kind to hit the basketball world in the U.S. - men, women, college, pro. I tend to side with him and think that whether you like it or not, this piece of history set in the record books by the UConn women will be with us from now til ... well, forever.
"It will never be done again. Slowly but surely the parity is coming around in women's basketball and [Uconn's streak] is just amazing. Absolutely amazing.
"I think this will be the last time you see it in basketball in any level, men or women. I just think there's too many good players in America for any big streak to happen again. This is not going to happen again."
And, of course, I had to ask about what all those critics have been pontificating about. Men vs. women. Is is really all that different for a women's sport to achieve a streak such as this and is the positive attention deserved for the Connecticut team? I wasn't alive for Coach Wooden's accomplishment, but from everything I can gather he would be proud to see the Connecticut women breaking his streak while playing basketball closest to the John Wooden-style of play.
"I don't know why women's basketball wouldn't get a lot of credit. I think it's every bit as impressive as what happened with UCLA in the 70s.
"I know this - I know Connecticut played 30 ranked teams and I know they beat them - the average margin of victory was like 32, 33 or something like that. They're very different obviously, but I think they're very comparable."
So for those that say it's apples to oranges, fine. But man - how 'bout them apples. Respect the streak and enjoy watching the piece of history that is the Connecticut women's basketball team.