UConn defeats Ohio State, ties UCLA win streak at 88

The UConn Huskies Women’s Basketball tied the record held by the UCLA Men’s program, winning their 88th in a row by defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes.

UConn will have an opportunity to break that record as take on Florida State on Tuesday.

There have been a lot of opinions expressed about whether the Connecticut streak should even be compared with the UCLA streak, whether men’s and women’s records should be compared or whether it’s appropriate to compare records from different eras.  There are comments that the women’s game is not as competitive as the men’s game.  That’s a bit of a red herring; the answer is no; today’s women’s game is not as competitive as today’s men’s game.  But the men’s game during UCLA’s run was not nearly as competitive as it is today, either; and programs at that time did not need to worry about ‘one-and-done’.

Heck, it’s not even the longest streak in women’s college basketball history, though shame on me, I’m whiffing on the the name of the team that holds the overall record.

I will argue that the Huskies take on all comers; they regularly play all of the top teams — well, all that will play them, anyway.  They typically plan an absolutely ridiculous (read: very difficult) out of conference schedule, in addition to the much improved, highly competitive Big East.  If the Huskies do have an advantage, it’s that they frequently start the NCAA tournament at home; but then again, there are more rounds in the tournament that in UCLA’s time.

This year, in what would seem like a rebuilding year, the Huskies put the streak on the line early, against #2 Baylor, a Final Four participant last season.  The Huskies prevailed, though the game was on their home court.  If you’d asked me before the season, and I may have expressed this opinion, I didn’t believe the Huskies would get past Baylor.  I’m still not convinced they are really the best team in the country, though I suppose someone needs to knock off the defending champs to drop them out of the top spot.  But I really didn’t think, with the loss of Tina Charles and Kalana Greene, and with Caroline Doty out for the season, that UConn would have a chance to continue the streak.

Even Geno Auriemma argues that the two records shouldn’t be compared, but I disagree.

The only unfortunate aspect to the timing of this streak is that John Wooden died earlier this year.  I highly suspect that Wooden would have had nothing but gracious praise for UConn tying, and potentially breaking the streak.


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