UConn’s Streak Is Unfair
As the UConn women’s basketball team gets ready to break the UCLA men’s record of 88 straight wins, I thought to myself – can a men’s team finish with an undefeated record?
The short answer is – NO WAY!!
First off, let’s put some perspective on UConn’s streak. It’s now at 88 games – tied for the longest in NCAA Division I basketball history. They’ll play #20 Fla. State tonight with a chance at 89. The streak also is the longest win streak in women’s Division I history. UConn hasn’t lost a game since the 2008 national semifinals and has played more than 600 games since losing back-to-back games.
The Huskies are the only team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to finish consecutive seasons as undefeated national champions. From 1971-74, the UCLA men’s team also won 88 straight games.
But that’s where the comparisons between UConn and UCLA begin and end. While the Huskies streak is quite amazing, it’s completely unfair. As in unfair to the rest of women’s college basketball.
There are about 10 blue chip recruits every year in women’s college basketball – and UConn gets 4 of them. The rest of the nation gets the other 6. Every player on UConn was pretty much a high school All-American.
By comparison, the men’s game has over 100 top notch recruits. Those players go to schools all over the country – not just the top programs. Butler, Fresno State, VCU and Nevada all had players drafted in the 1st Round of the NBA Draft in 2010. Have you looked at the WNBA Draft lately? All of the 2010 1st rounders were from BCS schools. And UConn had 2 of the top 13 players chosen.
The disparity between UConn and the rest of the team’s in the Top 20 is a joke. They beat the 10th ranked team (Ohio State) by 31 points on Sunday. During the 2008-09 season, no team got within 10 points of the Huskies - during the ENTIRE year. How is that even fair?
So can a men’s college basketball team go undefeated? (1976 Indiana was the last team to accomplish that feat). Not a chance! There’s way too much parity. There are too many good players going to every team in the country. Every conference has a TV deal these days so players don’t need to go to the BCS schools to get exposure.
There are tons of upsets every year in college hoops. In the season’s first month, Kennesaw State beat Georgia Tech, Florida lost to Jacksonville and (5-7) IUC Flames took out 12th ranked Illinois. FYI: IUC was picked to finish at the bottom of the Horizon League.
Guys are leaving early for the NBA meaning that the top level teams suffer an unexpected drop off every year. Look at North Carolina – they went from winning it all to the NIT in 1 year!!
So let’s give props to UConn on winning 88 straight but please keep the streak in perspective here people!!