UConn Women's Hoops: Where Does The 78-Game Winning Streak Rank All-Time?
The UConn Huskies received their biggest scare of the season in last night's women's National Championship game.
UConn trailed at halftime, but rallied to capture a 53-47 victory over Stanford for a second consecutive national title. The win ran UConn's winning streak to 78 consecutive games.
UConn put its stamp on the sport with the seventh crown of the Geno Auriemma era.
The 78-game winning streak is still ongoing, but how does it stack up against the other prodigious winning streaks in sports history?
There are plenty of them. Does the UConn streak compare? Look inside to find out.
When The Streak Started
Coincidentally, UConn's last loss came against Stanford in the 2008 Final Four. Since then, UConn has put together an unparalleled run of success in women's college basketball.
The streak began on November 15, 2008 with a 82-71 victory over Georgia Tech.
It took until the 30th win of the streak before another team got within 11 points of UConn. That team was Rutgers on March 2, 2009.
Men's vs. Women's
UConn's title-winning victory put them 10 wins shy of the all-time collegiate mark set by John Wooden's UCLA teams between 1970-1973.
Like UConn now, UCLA was the dominant force in a sport that did not have as much parity as exists today.
UCLA won four of its seven consecutive national titles during its streak.
UConn just locked up its second straight title, three straight Final Four appearances, and there appears to be no end in sight.
Another L.A. Dynasty
The Lakers achieved less than half of the total wins in its record-setting win streak, but the Lakers are the standard-bearer for all-time NBA winning streaks.
The Lakers ripped off 33 straight wins in the 1971-1972 season which stands as the longest winning streak by any American professional sports team.
Unlike UConn, which battles essentially with just two or three other power programs, the Lakers fought with the Celtics dynasty as well as the surging New York Knicks.
The Original Winning Streak
It was a 60-game winning streak set by Bill Russell's University of San Francisco teams from 1955-1957 that was the gold standard before UCLA broke their streak. (Future Laker breaking future Celtic's winning streak...see how that works?)
Like Tina Charles and/or Maya Moore now, Bill Russell was the preeminent force of college basketball during his tenure at USF.
Stack Up to Football?
The undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins is the example of perfection that all NFL teams are measured against.
The 1985 Bears got close and the 2007 Patriots got within 90 seconds of equaling the feat, however, the fact remains that nobody has equaled what the Dolphins accomplished 38 years ago.
What are the chances that another women's basketball program comes within sniffing distance of UConn's 78-game (and counting) winning streak in the next 38 years?
I say with confidence, slim to none.
The Oklahoma Sooners won 47 consecutive games from 1953-1957 before falling to another national power in Notre Dame.
Since then, only one team in the last 30 years has been within a baker's dozen of Oklahoma. That was the University of Miami from 2000-2002 which won 34 straight games before falling to Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
As far as college football is concerned, with the amount of national powers, the 47 wins by Oklahoma might as well be 100 in today's sport.
The same applies for UConn. With the shallow pool of talent and top teams, 78 wins might as well be 178.
Where Does It End?
The six-point margin of victory over Stanford was the closest victory of the year for UConn. The second closest was the Huskies' 12-point win over Stanford midseason.
UConn simply ransacked the competition this season, aside from Stanford who they will likely play again in the 2010-2011 regular season.
At this point, women's college basketball is too top heavy to believe that an inferior foe will come up and clip UConn.
Tina Charles will move, but Maya Moore should return and lead another dominant year of the UConn program.
One has to believe the run will end sometime next season, but it will likely take another national power like Stanford or Tennessee to make it happen.