5 reasons why UConn’s women’s hoops dominance is incredible
STORRS — The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is on the verge of doing something unprecedented, winning four NCAA women’s basketball championships in a row.
The Huskies have won championships in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Yes — that’s 10 times.
Not shockingly, the Huskies, who are undefeated, are the overall No. 1 seed heading into this year’s NCAA tournament. Additionally, they have won 116 of their last 117 games by double digits. That’s just absurd.
They play Robert Morris on Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m.
UConn is so good that it’s borderline insane. Here are five reasons why UConn’s dominance is incredible.
1. UConn has won 69 consecutive games
UConn has won 69 consecutive games, a streak that spans the regular season and postseason. The last time UConn lost was on November 17, 2014, in an 88-86 overtime loss at Stanford.
But here’s the kicker: This winning streak isn’t even that great for the Huskies. Entering the NCAA tournament, that streak is just the third-best in program history.
UConn holds the all-time NCAA record with 90 straight wins from November 16, 2008 until December 29, 2010. A staggering 71 of those wins were in the regular season. The Huskies also had a 70-game win streak in the early 2000s.
So going into the tournament, what’s head coach Geno Auriemma’s biggest concern?
“I think it’s the same thing that in any game any coach fears, and that’s you can’t get anything to drop,” Auriemma said on the NCAA women’s selection special on ESPN. “You can’t make a shot. The shots you normally make for whatever reason just aren’t going in. And then you’re going to have to find other ways to win. I think the teams that win at this time of the year, they can figure out ways to win when they’re not shooting the ball the way they normally shoot it.
“But the tournament pressure does funny things to you. So I think that’s everybody’s big worry. What if we have a really cold night? Because in the NCAA tournament, you don’t have a chance to then win game 2, game 3 of a series best of five. It’s one night, and that’s it.”
2. Breanna Stewart could do something that’s never been done in NCAA basketball history.
Forward Breanna Stewart, a senior from North Syracuse, New York, is the most decorated women’s college basketball player in history. Stewart — known to many as Stewie — is the only player in history to be honored as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player three times. No one has ever won the honor four times. Should the Huskies win it all again, Stewart will be the front-runner for the award.
Her total haul needs a few paragraphs, but here are some of the biggest accolades over her four-year collegiate career:
Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2013, 2014 and 2015 Associated Press Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 Naismith Trophy Winner in 2014 and 2015 Wade Trophy Winner in 2015 John R. Wooden Award Winner in 2015 Consensus First Team All-American in 2014; unanimous First Team All-American in 2015
Stewart leads the Huskies with 19.2 points per game and 107 blocked shots and also averages 8.3 rebounds and four assists per game. More hardware surely is on the way. She’s likely going to need a extra shelves for all of it.
3. Geno Auriemma is on the verge of passing the legendary John Wooden for the most NCAA basketball titles of all time.
It’s one of the most revered records in sports. The late John Wooden, who was the legendary men’s basketball coach at UCLA, won 10 national titles, the most in college basketball history. UConn women’s head coach Geno Auriemma tied Wooden’s record last year when the Huskies defeated Notre Dame 63-53.
Auriemma’s resume includes those 10 national titles, 16 Final Fours, and — so far, anyway — five perfect seasons (1995, 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2014). He also coached the women’s U.S. National Team to the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
4. Nobody has given UConn a close game this season.
It was considered breaking news this season that UConn was trailing at halftime, which happened for the first time all season when the Huskies were losing to then-No. 20 South Florida 25-24 on February 29. The scare was short-lived, however, as UConn went on to win by 20.
Not even the other top teams have played UConn close this season. South Carolina, then ranked No. 2, had home court but still didn’t have the advantage as the Huskies blew by 66-54 in Columbia on February 8. On November 16, UConn annihilated then-No. 7 Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home floor, 100-56.
UConn won every game this season by double digits. The closest anyone has come this season was then top-ranked Notre Dame, which lost 91-81 in Storrs, Connecticut, and Maryland, which fell 83-73 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
UConn’s average margin of victory is a ridiculous +39.7 points per game. The Huskies have outscored opponents this season 2802-1532.
5. The Huskies score in the classroom, too.
UConn doesn’t just dominate on the basketball court. Team members perform well in school as well. According to the UConn athletics department, the women’s basketball team GPA is consistently above 3.0. Additionally, 83% of the team (10 of 12 players) had a GPA of 3.0 or better during the 2014-2015 school year.
In figures released by the NCAA in November, the UConn women’s basketball program’s graduation rate was 100%.