UConn's Ladies: A Different Game

David BurnettCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2010

WASHINGTON - MAY 17:  U.S. President Barack Obama greets the NCAA champion University of Connecticut women�s basketball team during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on May 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Huskies were  invited to the White House to recognize their seventh overall and second straight NCAA championship and back-to-back undefeated seasons.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The University of Connecticut women steamrolled Florida State 93-62 on Tuesday night.  They have now gone 89 straight games without losing.

The streak started 25 months ago against Georgia Tech.  No college basketball team, men’s or women’s has ever won that many games in a row.  We could say – “so what – they’re just girls.”   And Connecticut is at or near the top every year anyway, what’s the big deal?

I’ve said that before about this team and ladies basketball in general.  But lets be real, these ladies just keep on winning.  Eighty-nine in a row is pretty impressive, no matter who does it.

But critics are mortified that Tuesday’s win means that a cherished men’s record has been eclipsed by women.  And some are groping for the significance of this accomplishment, if any, and are calling it an apples and oranges comparison.

Lets get something straight – UConn’s ladies are not as good as the UCLA men – who were coached by the great John Wooden.  How could they be?

But that is not the point.  It never was.   This achievement should be based on merit.

And by that standard, this is a stupendous accomplishment.  There is much to admire. Thats the only way to look at this.  When will the streak end?

Not anytime soon, it appears.  UConn has won the last two national championships.   They went undefeated each time.

They have the best player in the country in Maya Moore.   Moore’s game is so fundamentally sound and complete that she’s almost boring to watch.  She has no peer.

Even more important, UConn is great because it has a Hall of Fame quality coach.  It’s easy these days to say Geno Auriemma is the best women’s coach, but that would be selling him short.  The fact is Auriemma is one of the best basketball coaches in the world – period.  He can coach anyone, at any level, anywhere.

Great program, great coach, great player – that gives UConn an almost unfair advantage before the game even starts.

So how should we celebrate the UConn women?

I think we can celebrate by simply appreciating the women’s game for what it is: another form of basketball that takes skill, athleticism and determination to play and master.

If we watched them more often perhaps we would already know this.  It’s a different game.

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