March 11, 2003

Connecticut has lost, finally.: The longest winning streak in women's Division I history ended at 70 games Tuesday night. Villanova (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today; No. 18 Associated Press) handed No. 1 Connecticut its first loss since the end of the 2001 season, 52-48 for the championship of the Big East Conference tournament.

posted by justgary to basketball at 08:51 PM - 10 comments

O.k. So its women's basketball. Still, pretty impressive streak, and I'm betting all the players went to real classes, keeping with the general concept of collegiate sports more than their male counterparts. Congrats to Villanova.

posted by justgary at 08:55 PM on March 11

And congrats to UConn. They're still favorites to win the NCAA tournament.

posted by msacheson at 12:26 AM on March 12

Geno behaved like something of an ass at the post game press conference, but Taurasi did a pretty good job of trying to sound happy for Villanova. Every winning streak needs to come to an end eventually and 70 games is nothing to sneeze at.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:53 AM on March 12

The UConn women's team is pretty cool. Back when the winning started for real, in the 93-94 season, I was in grad school there, and eating in the same meal halls as they did. Women's team ate real food for breakfast (bagels, fruit, juices), whereas the men's team tended towards one box per player of sugary cereal. Seemed to work for both teams that year, though.

posted by ahhgrr at 09:50 AM on March 12

The ending of the streak is likely good for the team, anyways. Now they can concentrate on just winning the final six games and the championship w/o thinking "oh man, this is for game number 75 in a row". Plus, it should be a good motivator for them not to be complacent in the early rounds. There is such a thing as a good loss, IMO. That said, congrats to both the Villanova and UConn teams.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:30 AM on March 12

Ufez Jones: There is such a thing as a good loss, IMO. Wise words, Mr. Jones. Wise words indeed.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:08 PM on March 12

I'm just bitter because I'd hoped that the Devils would have another shot at cracking the streak themselves. Otherwise, I echo the congrats of everyone here. [Oh, and Pat Summitt is an even worse loser than Geno is, for the record.]

posted by tieguy at 04:57 PM on March 12

Regardless of Geno's crazy views on the flag and the loss last night, there is no question that the Uconn Women's basketball program is the greatest in history of women college sports. There is also no question that one can make a creditable argument that the program as a whole is one of the best ever, men's or women's. I recall a bumper sticker I saw in downtown Harford before the Uconn Men's team won the 1999 National Championship: Uconn: where the men are great and the women are champions!

posted by Bag Man at 07:12 PM on March 12

Tennessee would probably argue with the assertion that uconn is the greatest in the history of women's college sports. Just a quick recap (not that I like Tennessee, but unecessarily self-touting fans of all stripes piss me off):

  • 6 titles (including two before UConn had ever reached a final four) to UConn's three.
  • 17 Final Fours to UConn's 6.
  • 14 olympians to UConn's four.
  • more wins than UConn in the 90s [arguably the only decade UConn has ever been good.]
  • more all-time wins than any other women's program. [Uconn isn't in the top 20.]
So, um, yeah. UConn has a strong program, without a doubt. Almost definitely the second strongest in the country. But if you think it is better than Tennessee's (especially historically) you are smoking a very strong brand of crack.

posted by tieguy at 09:35 PM on March 12

tieguy: I am a UConn fan, born and bred, and I love the team dearly. That being said, your analysis is spot on. UConn has an outstanding program, but we need ten or twenty more years of strong teams before we can compare to Tennessee. Watching UConn and Tennessee play since the start of the 90's has always a special pleasure and I'm hoping both teams continue to uphold their traditions of excellence. Egads, I sound like a third rate HBO sports special writer.

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:14 AM on March 13

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