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Sports Then and Now

Death, Taxes and Wins By The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team

Posted on March 09, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Maya Moore and the UConn women's basketball team has towered over their competition for the last two years.

Maya Moore and the UConn women's basketball team has towered over their competition for the last two years.

According to the old saying, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. It might be time to modify that phrase to make it death, taxes and a dominating victory by the Connecticut women’s basketball team.

The Huskies didn’t just defeat West Virginia to win their 72nd straight victory; they annihilated the eighth ranked team in the country 60-32 to claim their 16th Big East title.

The old adage of “on any given night” just doesn’t seem to apply to the Huskies as they have taken the game to a new level. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Huskies have been playing in a different stratosphere than all other teams in women’s college basketball.

The Huskies did not eclipse their own women’s basketball record for consecutive victories by posting a bunch of late game comebacks and last second victories.

To the contrary, they have won each of their 72 straight games by double digits and only 17 times (24%) has the victory margin been under 20 points. They have won eight games by more than 50 points and 41 (57%) by 30 or more points.

Which Team has The Best Shot At Stopping Connecticut's Women's Hoops Winning Streak?

  • No One This Season (39%, 7 Votes)
  • Tennessee (33%, 6 Votes)
  • Nebraska (11%, 2 Votes)
  • Duke (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Notre Dame (6%, 1 Votes)
  • Stanford (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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And it isn’t as if the Huskies have been padding the schedule with games against the school for the deaf and blind. The streak includes 23 victories over nationally ranked opposition (by an average margin of 25 points), including 13 wins over ranked teams this season.

During the early days of the streak in January 2009, they defeated second ranked North Carolina by 30 points on the Tar Heels home court. Later that season they claimed the Big East title with a 75-36 victory over a Louisville team that they would meet again three weeks later in the NCAA Championship Game (UConn only won this one 76-54).

This season the Huskies have been even more dominating than they were a year ago. They have out-scored their opponents by an average of 34.7 points per game.

Their closest game this season was a 12-point victory over number two ranked Stanford.  Only five of their 33 victories have resulted in victory margins under 20 points.

Gino Auriemma is shooting for his seventh national title in 2010.

Gino Auriemma is shooting for his seventh national title in 2010.

At this point it appears like a seventh NCAA Championship and 11th Final Four appearance for head coach Gino Auriemma’s squad is a pretty safe bet.

The Huskies will enter the NCAA Tournament as the number one seed and prohibitive favorites.

Perhaps if there is a team capable of defeating the Huskies it could be Auriemma’s longtime adversary Pat Summitt and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols (currently 30-2 and ranked fourth).

The Lady Vols and Huskies used to meet annually during the regular season, but a dispute between the two iconic head coaches ended that rivalry in 2007.

Since 2000, the two squads have combined for seven national titles (five for UConn and two for UT) and met three times in the national title game with Connecticut winning all three matchups.

It would be a fitting challenge for Auriemma and his squad to have Summitt standing in the way of their second straight undefeated season and national title.

Without question, such a matchup would be the most watched women’s basketball game of all time and either serve as validation of UConn’s domination or of Summitt’s coaching wizardry.

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