Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

UConn Women’s Moment in Spotlight Unjustly Short-Lived

My beef this week is with the little amount of fanfare and publicity that the UConn women’s basketball team is getting.

With men’s college basketball just ending, Major League Baseball and the Masters underway, and the NHL and NBA playoffs just around the bend, UConn women’s basketball has essentially been a blip in the sports world.

Tuesday night, the UConn women’s basketball team beat Stanford 53-47 in the NCAA championship game. It was not very impressive on the surface; the game was the lowest combined total score in the 29 years that the game has been around.

But the important thing was not the game itself, but what the game was a culmination of: UConn’s second straight undefeated season and its 78th straight victory.

Seventy-eight straight games without a slip-up or anything close to it. Seventy-eight straight games of complete and utter perfection. The only other college basketball team to do that was the UCLA men’s team, which had an 88-game winning streak from Jan. 30, 1971, to Jan. 17, 1974.

During its streak, UConn has beaten its opponents by an average margin of 32.7 points – and ranked opponents by 22.1 points – with only one single-digit win.

UCLA beat its opponents by an average margin of 23.4 points and had 15 single-digit wins. So, although they may not be there yet, it might be safe to say the Lady Huskies are the most dominant team in college basketball history and possibly in the history of sports.

Think about it. No team has dominated as much in its respective sport in the history of sports. The Huskies are so good that this six-point victory to win a national championship is almost a disappointment. But they will get their one day of glory after this championship, and then we’ll all move on to baseball and everything else without thinking twice about it.

Why? Because it’s women’s college basketball, that’s why.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m barely a follower of women’s sports myself, but I am a fan of great sports and great teams, and in my mind, this UConn team fits the bill more than any other team in sports history.

ost sports fans don’t agree for many reasons. Some people have a skewed opinion of women’s college basketball and claim that there’s no competition because of how Tennessee and UConn have dominated the sport for so long.

This idea comes mostly out of ignorance. Since most people’s knowledge of women’s college basketball is limited to what ESPN tells us, they are inclined to believe that the only schools on the entire planet playing the sport are UConn, Tennessee and Stanford.

So, since we don’t hear about these other schools, we assume that there is no competition.

College football teams going undefeated is a regular occurrence. Florida, USC, Ohio State and Texas have dominated their respective conferences for as long as or longer than UConn, Tennessee and Stanford have ruled theirs.

Yet, when a team like Florida wins two titles in a row, no one assumes that there is a lack of competition in college football. That is because we know more about all of the teams, and the more you know a team or a player, the more accurate your opinion is about the entire sport.

But what most people don’t realize is that women’s basketball is full of elite teams. This past year, women’s college basketball had three 30-game winners, just three fewer than men’s college basketball.

Another reason some believe there is little competition in women’s college basketball is that UConn and Tennessee have combined to win 11 out of the last 15 championships – UConn with six and Tennessee with five.

I realize the magnitude of that number, but let’s think about other teams that have done similar things: The Yankees have won five championships in that span, including four in five years. The Lakers have won four. And then there was the Bulls dynasty that saw six championships during the 1990s alone. Yet people still assumed those teams had top-notch competition.

What this UConn team has here is a dynasty, just like the one Pat Summit had at Tennessee and just like the numerous other dynasties that so many other teams have had throughout the years. Just like the others’, UConn’s is bound to end at some point – but not too soon. This is one of the greatest teams ever. People would be drooling over them if they were a men’s team in any sport.

It’s springtime, so stop and smell the roses. Before you move hastily onto baseball and golf, sit back and realize just how special this UConn team really is.

Alex Lau is a freshman in the College. What’s for Dinner appears in every other Friday issue of Hoya Sports.”

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