What if I told you that a collegiate basketball program was on the verge of winning their 100th game in a row, and no one was talking about it? Well, that is exactly what is happening. The UConn Women are one win away from winning 100 games in a row. A streak lasting 818 days, and they are outside of the actual gameday being talked about by mainstream media. Charles Oakley and Latrell Spreewell have become bigger headlines than this. Which is flat out absurd. Quite frankly, it’s disrespectful. It is disrespectful that Phil Jackson’s tweets, Steph Curry wearing a cupcake tee shirt, and Tom Brady saying that the Super Bowl wasn’t his greatest performance are headlines before this streak.
Now, I understand where women’s basketball falls in terms of ratings and media coverage. I am not saying that it should have been the most covered story on ESPN for the last 818 days. But at the end of the day, this team has not had an off night in over two years. They have not had a slip up, or a night where they didn’t shoot well enough, or not show up defensively, or anything where they were anything less than superior to their opponent. Basketball seasons are long and strenuous. It is easy to have a day where you just don’t show up mentally and lose a game you would normally win. But not these teams. Not for the last 99 games anyways. What I think the most impressive part about this streak is that only two of the players on the team have been on the team for all 99 games.
Not only has this streak not been discussed nearly enough, but Geno Auriemma has not been discussed nearly enough either. He is in the same conversation as John Wooden, Red Auerbach, Pat Summit, Phil Jackson, and Coach K. He has fully solidified himself as one of the greatest basketball coaches in history. He has set the gold standard. There are teams with more McDonald’s All-Americans than his teams, with more talent on paper, but no one is able to get their players to respond quite like Auriemma. If it was easy to do this, than all of the aforementioned coaches would have streaks like this. Wooden has one streak of this magnitude of 88 games. Geno has now led three different streaks of 70+ wins in a row. Maybe it is his style of downplaying the moment and the talent they have. Always having the next task on mind.
So yeah, during these games there may not be high-flying dunks but there is something going on that is much more impressive than those flashes of athleticism. There is a team that consistently plays basketball at one of the highest levels. Consistency is something that is done by professionals, not by young adults. But when you have a great and consistent leader, the team will follow, and follow for 100 straight games.