The University of Connecticut’s Division I women’s basketball team defeated the University of South Carolina 66-55 on Monday Feb. 13, for their 100th consecutive win. No, not their franchise’s 100th win. Not their coaches 100th win. You read that correctly. The Huskies have won 100 basketball games in a row.
The absurd statistics, however, do not end there. Their last loss was in November of 2014, when they lost to Stanford University in overtime. That loss snapped a 47-winning streak itself. So, in the last four years, the Huskies have lost exactly one game and in that span have won four consecutive national championships.
Believe it or not, the Huskies were set for a down year, considering they lost three of their best women to the Women’s National Basketball Association’s draft after last season. These players were selected first, second and third overall. That amount of talent on one team is simply unheard of in college sports.
Luckily for them, an off year for the Huskies is the equivalent to a dream season for any other team. Despite the “regression,” Connecticut has had no problem keeping the streak alive.
This situation is exactly what critics point out about college sports. During recruitment, winning simply attracts the best players. The most talented athletes want to go to the best programs—and who could blame them? Right now, it is impossible to argue that there is a better women’s basketball program than the UConn Huskies.
It is a vicious cycle. The good teams attract the best players and get better, while the bad teams get players that simply are not as talented as the women going to the top programs.
In professional sports, it is very difficult for one team to be consistently dominant for anything more than a decade or so. It takes incredible coaching, luck and great scouting. Drafting and salary caps in pro sports are also a great equalizer.
For this reason, the rising and falling of teams seems to happen so much more frequently. In UConn’s case, every time a star player leaves, someone is right behind her to take her place.
So yes, the Huskies will fall from their throne at some point. That is the nature of sports. When, however, is still a mystery. Right now, the Huskies are “trending downward.” They are scoring less and beating teams by slimmer margins.
Saying that they are getting worse, however, is hard when they are still beating every team they play and have been for 100 games in a row. This season, it seems that their streak should carry on into the tournament.
Time will tell if UConn will make it five championships in a row—or if there is another team out there ready to take a seat on the throne.