By Tony Massarotti
Sorry, UConn. And sorry, girls. But it doesn’t count.
Oh, 100 wins in a quarrel sounds good, during slightest on paper. And from that standpoint a University of Connecticut women’s basketball group has a longest strain in complicated sports history, a inconceivable 100 games in a row. The Huskies achieved a attainment with a contested win over South Carolina on Monday night, a diversion notable for lots of reasons. For starters, UConn won a diversion by a measure of usually 66-55, that is an dissapoint unto itself. If there were a widespread on this diversion — and I’m guessing that, somewhere, there was — South Carolina substantially covered. So there’s that.
But a 100 wins in a row? Please. What a crock. As a New York Times remarkable in this thorough hearing of a UConn streak, tighten games have been anything though a normal during a Huskies uproar opposite America. UConn’s normal domain of feat in these games has been 38.4. More than half a victories (56 to be exact) have been by 40 or some-more points. (Yes, we review that correctly.) And a kicker of all kickers comes in how many tighten games Connecticut has played (or not) during a streak.
The scold answer, in this case, is two.
That’s a series of games motionless by fewer than 10 points during a 100 uninterrupted wins.
Put another way, UConn has played 3 games motionless by 10 points or fewer in a final 101 contests. One of them of was a detriment to Stanford in Nov 2014, when UConn final mislaid a game. The other dual are victories during a streak. When we get right down to it, that creates UConn 2-1 in “close games” over a final 3 years, that doesn’t sound like a kind of record that should get we plenty coverage in a New York Times.
Tom Brady’s 5 Super Bowls? Now that’s a story. But UConn women floating a doors off some other wretched women’s program? Gag me. If we went down to a stadium right now, we could simply win 100 true of 1-on-1. Assuming we was personification opposite third graders, of course.
Defenders of women’s basketball take offense to this line of thinking, though so be it. To have a legitimate streak, well, we have to have legitimate competition. That’s arrange of understood. None of that means that UConn has bad players or that a conceited Geno Auriemma (the UConn coach) is bad during what he does. Both are positively exceptional. But when some-more than half a games are motionless by during slightest 40 points — and a overwhelming 71 of a 100 are motionless by 30 or some-more — well, we can’t assistance though consternation if a rug is simply stacked.
As for a contention of either this is good or bad for women’s basketball, we competence warn we here: this is good. Fairly or unfairly, we don’t speak about women’s hoops most in this country. In a final few years, especially, it usually unequivocally comes adult in discussions about UConn’s dominance. If South Carolina played Tennessee or Notre Dame a other night, zero of us would have noticed. But UConn was going for No. 100 in a row, so we all took note.
And this week, on this site, I’m apparently committing time to it.
But in terms of good American sports achievements? Let’s siphon a breaks here. Last year, in a annual WNBA Draft, a initial 3 players were all from UConn. Think about that for a minute. In basketball, often, a group with a best actor wins since there are usually 10 players on a building during any given time and since one widespread actor can stay on a building for 90-100 percent of all play. UCLA underneath John Wooden had Lew Alcindor (or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and afterwards Bill Walton. The UConn women had 3 of them… during a same time.
Is Auriemma a good coach? Probably. But if he substituted rosters with, say, No. 22-ranked South Florida and gave UConn a game, well, we competence be means to buy in. But when UConn and USF played progressing this year, with Auriemma by a Connecticut bench, UConn won … by a measure of 102-37.
Let’s contend that again. No. 1 played, during a time, No. 20, and won by 65 points. And that diversion depends in a 100 straight?
Look, we get it. To vessel a UConn women comes off as sexist, even misogynistic. But this has zero to do with women’s sports, that have come a long, prolonged way. This is about Connecticut carrying a corner in a sport. And a final time we checked, America was built on enlivening foe and challenge, not squelching it.
You wish a genuine story?
Find me a group that beats a UConn women, preferably by 10 points or more.
Then I’ll unequivocally mount adult and take notice.
Tony Massarotti is an zealous Boston sports fan and has lonesome sports in Boston for some-more than 15 years for both a Boston Herald and Boston Globe. He now serves as a co-host on afternoon expostulate on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. He was a two-time Massachusetts Sportswriter of a Year as voted by his peers and has created 4 books, including “Big Papi,” a New York Times-bestselling memoirs of David Ortiz. You can follow Tony @tonymassarotti.