UConn can top UCLA streak to­day

Top-ranked Huskies play No. 22 Florida State in try­ing for 89th straight win.

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Doug Fein­berg As­so­ci­ated Press

NEW YORK — UCLA’s 88-game win­ning streak had just been snapped by Notre Dame in 1974 when Bru­ins coach John Wooden was asked how long it would be be­fore some­body beat the streak.

“I have no idea how long it will be be­fore some­body else wins that many. I know it takes at least three years,” he replied.

Try nearly 37 years. And the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut women’s team can do it tonight.

Coach Geno Auriemma and his play­ers — just Huskies, never the Lady Huskies — have been so dom­i­nant that some in the sports world have even sug­gested their over­whelm­ing suc­cess is no good for the game.

Auriemma took the de­bate a step fur­ther Sun­day af­ter UConn’s 88th straight win, ques­tion­ing whether there is a gen­der bias against his team.

“The rea­son ev­ery­body is hav­ing a heart at­tack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threat­en­ing to break a men’s record, and ev­ery­body is all up in arms about it,” he said.

There is no dis­pute, how­ever, that the streak has raised the pro­file of women’s bas­ket­ball by dar­ing to com­pare UConn’s ac­com­plish­ment to one of the most revered num­bers in sports his­tory or­ches­trated by one of its most hal­lowed fig­ures.

“Whether you agree or dis­agree with the time, the era, the com­pet­i­tive bal­ance — what­ever your take on it is, you can put any spin you want on it,” Auriemma said. “You can make it bet­ter, the same or less — it’s just a mat­ter of how you look at it.”

UCLA great Bill Wal­ton, who was in­stru­men­tal in the Bru­ins’ run, said his for­mer coach — who died ear­lier this year — was aware of UConn’s streak.

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