What UConn’s 100 game win streak means for women’s basketball
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On any other court, the University of South Carolina would have been a tough team to beat. Ranked fourth in the nation, the Gamecocks are 11-1 in a tough SEC conference that looks to have multiple national title contenders. On Monday February 13th however, it wasn’t meant to be. The University of Connecticut (UConn) lead by Coach Geno Auriemma had won 99 straight games, and they had no plans on losing anytime soon.
South Carolina played a competitive first half, slowing UConn’s dynamic attack and moving the ball patiently and confidently on offense. However, after halftime, UConn began to find their stride, Gabby Williams’ career high of 26 points helped push the Huskies to number 100. After the game Auriemma down-played the achievement, giving his players credit on their incredible run. But what does this historic win mean for the history of basketball?
In the course of UConn’s 100 game streak they lost by single digits just twice, their average margin of victory of their games was 38.4, and 28 of the 100 teams they beat were ranked inside the top 25 teams in the nation. Complete dominance is fun to watch, but it is also fun to hate. In an age where Women’s Basketball has the potential to make it big, if UConn doesn’t lose soon, it may actually hurt the game.
While streaks are fun to witness, they can become burdensome and tiring. Watching blowouts are exciting, but not when they become the normal. The Huskies dominance on the court is fun now, but when no one tunes in anymore because they “already know how it will end.” The lack of suspense and wonder will drive people away from women’s basketball.
Without variety people will will not want to watch women’s basketball. This is a shame, talent at the collegiate and WNBA levels is better than ever before. Stars like Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics), Kelsey Plum (University of Washington) and Diamond DeShields (Tennessee) are making women’s basketball more fun to watch than ever before. If people don’t see these players because UConn’s blowouts are the only games televised, all their talent goes unappreciated.
While credit is due to the amazing ladies at UConn; they truly are the best in the nation. If they are not defeated soon, people will lose interest. With no interest comes no television time, with no television time comes no support, with no support comes the inevitable downfall of women’s basketball. At a time when women’s basketball is fighting to make it onto the main stage of American sports, the Huskies are unfortunately slowing it down. To those who want to see women’s basketball succeed, defeat for UConn is the first step.