Despite the presence of a basketball dynasty, University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma had never contemplated winning one hundred games in a row. Last Tuesday, the Huskies exceeded expectations by reaching the record setting plateau of one hundred in a row.
It has been 820 days since “UConn” last fell victim to a loss, and given the disparity between themselves and the rest of their conference – let alone the nation – the winning streak will continue through the remaining games of the season, and likely into the postseason tournament.
UConn’s path to success has not been one of ease. When Coach Auriemma was appointed to his still-held position in 1985, Connecticut was nowhere near the level of play that the team is at now, let alone seen as a national power or dynasty.
Facing off against rivals Notre Dame and Baylor this season, many pundits, such as Graham Hays from espn.com, believed that the Huskies would fall slightly short.
“That wasn’t supposed to be enough for this team. Institutional memory has its limits. Even here. UConn entered the season as a four-time defending champion working on one of the longest winning streaks in history. It did not enter the season ranked espn.com, which tells you something about the benefit of doubt not extended this particular group of returning players,” said Graham in an interview.
The one hundredth straight win was even seen as a potential loss, squaring off against number six ranked South Carolina.
This is not a UConn team that measures up against past teams with stars such as Diana Taurasi, featuring a weak bench and a slow moving offense. Yet, Connecticut’s impressive streak can be accredited to smart coaching and efficiency, something that Coach Ariemma has become known for throughout the years.
The Huskies have four games remaining in the regular season before being a surefire number one seed in the postseason tournament, barring a collapse of epic proportions. They will be seen as heavy favorites and look to continue strong play through the remainder of the year.