February 10, 2003

The University of Connecticut Huskies (Women) : won their 61st straight game on Feb. 8. They still have the longest winning streak in Division I Women's College Basketball and now have the second longest Division I winning streak in College Basketball period - the longest streak, of course, was by the amazing 1971-74 UCLA Bruins.

posted by Joey Michaels to basketball at 04:24 PM - 13 comments

It is an impressive run, made more impressive by their willingness to go anywhere to play anyone. I got to see the road show at Cameron last weekend, and it was impressive. Hopefully Duke will get another crack on a neutral court in April- as loud and as impressive as Cameron was for the game, I think it hurt Duke worse than it hurt UConn.

posted by tieguy at 07:06 PM on February 10

They must have an excellent recruiting staff to always have been a winning team. If my memory is correct, they became quite a persistant force in the early 90s.

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:43 AM on February 11

Head coach Geno Auriemma has really been an amazing force for their program. A fine coach who has built several great UConn teams.

posted by Joey Michaels at 12:36 PM on February 11

How would they do against the worst Division I Men's team in the NCAA? How about against a Division II team or a nationally ranked Boy's High School team? Just wonderin'. I don't think they could compete at all against even a regional champion men's high school team...and therefore I just can't get myself to watch. Flame away.

posted by vito90 at 03:12 PM on February 11

Dunno about UConn, but Duke and Tennessee have men's squads composed of pretty good men's players who they regularly beat the crap out of. Unless you've seen Beard or Taurasi play you really have no clue what you're talking about.

posted by tieguy at 03:56 PM on February 11

Really!? Duke and UT's women beat their first string men in scrimmages? There's just no way that can be true! Link?

posted by vito90 at 04:26 PM on February 11

Sorry - tieguy - were you talking about like Intramural or Club squads?

posted by vito90 at 04:27 PM on February 11

Vito90: Actually, whether they could beat Men's teams is irrelevant. No problem that you don't like watching Women's basketball. The difference is that Women's basketball is about teamwork, strategy and sportsmanship, while Men's basketball is about ego, childish tantrums and product endorsements... and therefore I just can't get myself to watch. Just wanted to make sure you got at least one flame :P

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:30 PM on February 11

I think Joey said it pretty well, myself. There is a reason Wooden says he prefers watching the women's game to the men's. [And yes, I was referring to club squads, but you were making the outlandishly stupid assertion that the women's team couldn't beat a good high school club, not that they couldn't beat the Duke or UConn's men's teams.]

posted by tieguy at 05:37 PM on February 11

Outlandish? Maybe. According to several accounts (including a great SI piece a few years back) Pat Summit is quite particular about the composition of the men's squads scrimmaging her teams. She's notorious for running off men who are too physical or dominating. And we're not talking about guys who are D1 or probably even D2 athletes to begin with. Considering the talent that regularly flows out of schools like Mater Dei and Oak Hill Academy it's not outlandish to suggest a really good high school team would give either UConn or Duke a run for their money. (And note: the ladies have to play with full size ball.) I think discipline and experience would win out - but only for the top women's teams . The women play a much different game which is really enjoyable to watch when it's a match up like Duke-UConn and really painful with lesser athletes. On the other hand, I can watch just about any D1 men's game. (Is my sexism showing?)

posted by kloeprich at 06:42 PM on February 11

I brought it up first and foremost just to see if we could get a bit more dialogue going...so that was my primary motive. But I also think it is relevant to discuss since you compared their run to the Bruin's streak. And it is also inevitable, and fun IMHO to speculate on what head-to-head competition would be like. We've discussed it about golf and tennis, so I figure why not hoops? And I think just about any good College men's team, that practices together as a unit would beat the best women's teams. So ruling out club/intramural for the most part, but including many high school teams. Start with this fact - average height for the boys is going to run 6'4" at least with a smattering of 6'5 to 7'. For the girls, the starting center may go 6'5", the average is likely to be 6' or under, proferring a huge advantage for the boys. And Kloeprich, I don't consider it sexism, I consider it a desire to watch the best if you're going to watch at all. I don't watch high school, and I don't watch college unless I have a vested interest (like it's my alma mater) or it's a one v. two showdown.

posted by vito90 at 10:31 PM on February 11

vito90: I apologize for my snarky comment. While it wasn't my intention to imply that the Huskies could beat the 72-74 UCLA team, I did raise the comparison between Men's and Women's Teams in the FPP. My intention was to point out that something impressive was happening in Division I Women's Basketball right now by comparing it to something impressive in Division I Men's Basketall. You say that you enjoy watching the best; by one definition of best (longest time undefeated), the UConn Woman are it in Division I Women's Basketball. Could they beat a Division I Men's team? I don't know. There are times I think they could, but (despite my comparison to the UCLA Men) it is like comparing apples and oranges. Perhaps I should have taken more time to think through my FPP. Sorry again for the snarkiness!

posted by Joey Michaels at 12:14 PM on February 12

Actually JM, I didn't think you were snarky in the least. I apologize for trying to steer the direction of the discussion away from where you wanted it to go. I'm just frustrated with seeing people craft really good FPP's (like this one) that peter out after three or four comments. A little controversy can sometimes be a healthy thing! Cheers.

posted by vito90 at 12:34 PM on February 12

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