The last time the UConn women’s basketball team lost a game, Steph Curry had never won an MVP award, no one cared about Alexander Hamilton, and Donald Trump still hosted Celebrity Apprentice.
That was Nov. 17, 2014, and since then the Huskies have won 90 straight games, tying their own record for the longest winning streak in Division I basketball history.
They reached that mark Tuesday night by defeating No. 20 South Florida 102-37. Yes, UConn is 65 points better than the 20th best team in the country.
Huskies fans at the XL Center in Hartford celebrated the record-tying victory with signs reading “90 and counting.”
Final: UConn 102, USF 37
90 and counting pic.twitter.com/xWN0SzuJ0E
— Paul Doyle (@PaulDoyle1) January 11, 2017
At this point we take the UConn women for granted. Geno Auriemma’s team has been so good for so long that we no longer talk about how incredible the Huskies’ run has been, both over the past three years and over the past two decades. We just accept historic dominance as the default setting.
This season is a perfect example of how unstoppable the UConn women’s basketball machine has become. Because the Huskies are 15-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country in what was supposed to be a down year.
Led by Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson, last year’s UConn team was a historically potent powerhouse, with an average margin of victory of over 40 points per game. They won every game by double-digits and beat Syracuse in the national title game by 31. But Stewart and Jefferson graduated and headed off the WNBA, leaving this year’s UConn squad looking light by the program’s impossibly high standards. These Hukies have good players, like Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesha Collier but no transcendent superstar.
Auriemma, who claims not to care about this win streak, planned a stacked non-conference schedule to ensure his team would take a loss and put the streak behind it. But UConn beat No. 12 Florida State by 2 points, beat No. 2 Baylor by 11, beat No. 15 DePaul by 45, beat No. 14 Texas by 18, beat No. 2 Notre Dame by 11, beat No. 12 Ohio State by 19 and beat No. 4 Maryland by 6. That’s seven games against top-15 teams and zero losses. In a down year.
Then, on Tuesday, with thousands of fans cheering on history, UConn destroyed South Florida to tie the mark established by the Maya Moore-era Huskies only a few years ago. They’ll break the record Saturday against SMU. Then they’ll likely sweep through their AAC schedule, surpassing the 100-straight-win mark and reaching the NCAA Tournament undefeated for the third time in four years.
You won’t be surprised. But you should certainly be impressed.