“I don’t want to minimize it, because it’s an incredible thing,” Auriemma said Monday. “To be in a position to do it once, much less twice. So I don’t want to minimize; I don’t want to discount it. But at the same time, I don’t want it to distract us from what we’re trying to do long-term, which is get us ourselves ready for March. And that’s way more important than whatever number it is or whatever the streak is at.
Over the decades, the wins have come at a fast and furious pace and the winning streaks earned entries into the NCAA record book. But the philosophy of staying true to the process has never waned even as the Huskies are on the verge of tying their own record with their 90th straight win when No. 20 South Florida comes to the XL Center on Tuesday night (7 p.m., CBS College Sports). The Bulls happen to be the only team to lead the Huskies for more than 10 minutes in a game twice during this current streak.
“We understand that we have an opportunity to do something special,” junior guard Kia Nurse said Monday. “We’ve said it, but we try not to focus on it. Tomorrow is a game that we want to win. It’s not about the streak right now for us, but the chance to make history is incredible and something a lot of people dream of.”
If not for UConn’s 88-86 loss in overtime at Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014, this streak would be 137 in a row. But that’s the thing: Losses like that one should happen, even to great teams. Yet they typically don’t happen to UConn.
With that one stumble, UConn went 38-1 during the 2014-15 season and outscored foes by an average of 40.7 points. In 2015-16, it was 39.8. This season, UConn has less experience and sheer star power. The Huskies are winning by an average of 24.7. And in their four games against top-10 opponents, the winning margin is 7.5 points. Yet the key word is still “winning.”
And I’ll say this about all that: past performance in not guarantee of future performance. Not saying that South Florida will beat them… and not ignoring UConn’s game against South Carolina, BUT – a winning streak does not equal a championship.
If anyone is thinking this team is invincible, they’re simply not paying attention. Its winning rests on a razor’s edge. To my mind, the Final Four is still wide open. More importantly, it’s likely that if UConn does make the April trip to Texas, any team they play will have already faced them this season. Huge difference between studying the Huskies on tape and studying them on the court….
- MSU, I guess, winning for the first time at TBA. It was nip and tuck throughout the game. Not only was the team offense unimpressive, what’s with all the fouls, Bulldogs?
4PM: Ole Miss v. Auburn – who are you two?
4PM: #20 Oklahoma v. #17 West Virginia – soaring v. stumbling.
4PM: Oregon v. #20 Cal – can either team regroup?
- Hello, Ms. Ionescu! Welcome back with your last second, game winning three to steal the win for Oregon.
8PM: #10 Stanford v. #16 Oregon State – time to stake an (early) claim to the Pac-12
- It took double-OT, but the Beavers say, “rebuilding my azz” and win for the first time in Maples, 72-69.
Georgia squeaked by Vanderbilt at the buzzer.
Arizona’s growing under Barnes, takes down the Utes.
Towson shows it’s no paper tiger, taking down James Madison, 54-51.
Wait – did Loyola (MD) just beat Army?
Washington State is still feisty, sending USC to a 74-57 loss.
For the past few years Princeton coach Courtney Banghart was nervous before the Penn game.
The Ivy League championship had come down to those two teams and losing the first one of their two meetings in early January would leave little margin of error for the rest of the 14-game conference season. Now with the league holding its first-ever postseason tournament, losing the opener to Penn on Saturday isn’t as bad as it used to be. Well of course except for losing to your rival that is.