Storrs, Connecticut — One hundred wins in a row.
Just let that number sink in.
It’s a feat that seems almost impossible to quantify. Or at least, SEEMED impossible, until UConn defeated South Carolina 66-55 on Monday night for their 100th consecutive win.
In either the men’s or the women’s game, it’s clear that UConn women’s basketball is the most successful college program since Dr. Naismith first published his original 13 rules.
And while the number 100 is impressive, the NCAA has compiled some other numbers that show how truly remarkable the Huskies’ run has been.
It has been 818 days since UConn last lost a game. Their quest for 100 started with the 36-point routing of Creighton on Nov. 23, 2014. And of their 100 wins, 98 have come from double-digit victories. In fact, their average margin of victory during the streak has been 43.7 points.
These numbers are astounding. And no matter what the critics say, it is good for the sport— maybe one of the best things to ever happen for women’s basketball.
I know that from personal experience.
Growing up, like many young girls playing basketball, UConn was my favorite team. I loved how competitive they were in every game. I loved their rivalry with Tennessee. I loved Diana Taurasi’s swagger and how Barbara Turner could dominate down in the post.
Watching UConn made me love watching basketball, but more importantly, it made me love playing basketball. I wanted to play like my idols, and I wanted to play at Connecticut. Now, my playing career never developed exactly how I dreamed, but it was still because of UConn that I even played college basketball in the first place.
When you watch the Huskies, you learn the true meaning of grit and hard work. This season, head coach Geno Auriemma has been incredulous with each win. He even made their schedule with a loss in mind so that the Huskies would learn what mistakes they needed to fix before the NCAA tournament.
On the surface, it seems so shocking because UConn doesn’t have a prolific player like Taurasi, Maya Moore, or Breanna Stewart on their roster. The top three picks in the draft last year, Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, are all Connecticut alums. Without one of those three, how could the Huskies continue their win streak?
The answer is rather simple. Through the toughness that has become paramount in the UConn program with every Auriemma team. It doesn’t matter that UConn doesn’t have one of their quintessential greats on their roster currently, because all of the moving parts together are what make them so great. The team is greater than any one individual, which explains why they had 20 assists tonight, compared to South Carolina’s 11.
It’s important for younger girls playing at all levels to see that hard work and unselfishness are necessary to be successful in the sport.
It’s also important that they see coverage of women’s basketball, period.
UConn demands coverage. Throughout the last few weeks, mainstream sports media have been covering their quest for 100 wins extensively. If you are on this site, you undoubtedly appreciate women’s basketball. Unfortunately, there are people who do not. But perhaps with this run, and increased media coverage, some minds will begin to change.
There may be young girls who decide to pick up a basketball because of the type of passion that UConn inspires, or who work harder at the game because of what they witnessed tonight. Hopefully, there are droves who fall even more in love with the game.
And that only means good things for the future of women’s basketball.