A 100-game winning streak is not supposed to happen in any sport at any time.
After all, there are salary caps, scholarship limits and parity-inducing draft orders in place to check such power, and that's not even accounting for random factors such as luck and poor performances on any given day.
That's what makes the Connecticut Huskies' 100th straight win—which they notched Monday with a 66-55 victory over South Carolina—downright incredible. Injuries, strong opponents and even the graduation of superstar Breanna Stewart have not slowed them down, and a fifth straight national title seems like an inevitable conclusion to this ride.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
100 straight wins for the UConn women's basketball team. https://t.co/Di1j9FkA6v2017-2-14 04:04:26
Connecticut's last lost came in overtime against Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014, back when the Chicago Cubs were still cursed by a goat, LeBron James had never won a title in Cleveland and Deflategate hadn't entered the lexicon for sports fans.
This streak started shortly after that on Nov. 23, 2014 with a straightforward 96-60 win over Creighton.
It reached the century mark Monday against a South Carolina team that was far from a pushover. The Gamecocks entered the contest with a sparkling 21-2 record and victories over Ohio State, Louisville, Texas, UCLA, Mississippi State and Kentucky, among others.
The Gamecocks were down only six at the half, but Gabby Williams proved too much. She poured in 26 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out four assists and tallied four steals in a stat-sheet stuffing effort. Napheesa Collier added 18 points and nine boards in the win.
This streak reached a record 91 games when the Huskies handled SMU on Jan. 14, 88-48. As if that wasn't an impressive enough mark, the previous record of 90 straight wins was also set by head coach Geno Auriemma's Huskies from 2008 to 2010.
ESPN College BBall and ESPN Stats & Info added context by comparing the accomplishment to other sports:
ESPN College BBall @ESPNCBB
UConn's quest for 100 straight wins concludes tonight vs. No. 6 South Carolina on ESPN2. How does this historic run fare vs. other streaks? https://t.co/cK6c6EubES2017-2-13 18:10:58
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
UConn women's basketball: 100th straight win, one of four 100-game winning streaks in NCAA history (all sports) https://t.co/5An1Zf7VoR2017-2-14 04:06:10
According to Anthony Chiusano of NCAA.com, Connecticut had 27 wins over ranked teams and nine wins over top-five opponents during the streak coming into Monday's game. What's more, a mere two of the wins came by single digits, with blowouts far more common, as ESPN Stats & Info illustrated:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
UConn women haven't played many close games during 99-game win streak @UConnWBB goes for No. 100 tonight vs South Carolina - 9 ET/ESPN2 https://t.co/Ls9JuEBg3M2017-2-13 18:01:00
Connecticut hasn't lost a conference game since the American Athletic Conference was formed in 2013-14.
The current streak is just another accomplishment for Auriemma. He has been named the Associated Press Coach of the Year eight times, and his bio on UConn's official website credits him with 11 national titles, 17 Final Fours, 43 conference titles and six perfect seasons.
Former Duke and NBA player Jay Williams—who played for Mike Krzyzewski as a Blue Devil—and former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant—who played for Phil Jackson—didn't hold back their praise of Auriemma:
Jay Williams @RealJayWilliams
#StatementTime : Geno Auriemma is the greatest coach to ever coach college sports.2017-2-11 16:00:38
Kobe Bryant @kobebryant
WOW #100 @UConnWBB one of the greatest coaches/leaders we have ever had in sports. Keep em rollin Coach Geno 🙌2017-2-14 04:08:59
The Huskies now have four more games remaining in the regular season, all against the AAC.
A 104-game winning streak come conference tournament time seems more likely than not, and Connecticut will then turn its attention toward a fifth straight title with a balanced attack featuring Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Collier and Kia Nurse.
The Huskies are talented, red-hot and battle-tested from a difficult schedule that features notable wins over Florida State, Baylor, DePaul, Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Maryland and now South Carolina.
There is no reason to think they won't be adding a 12th championship to Auriemma's unassailable resume.