What better time for a UConn women’s basketball appreciation post? On Monday night, the Huskies won their 100th-straight game, further cementing their status as a sports dynasty. Most people already knew how great UConn is, but there is something about the milestone “100” that makes the program seem even more impressive and untouchable. More than half of UConn’s 100 wins came by a 40-or-more-point margin, according to this interesting visual piece by New York Times.
Women’s college basketball is by no means the most popular sport among viewers, but the two most recent championship games (both involving UConn) drew three million viewers, likely due to the fact that people were curious if the Huskies would win again (they did). UConn has now won the last four NCAA championships, and has won 10 times since 2000.
People may argue that UConn’s dominance is bad for women’s college basketball because no other team stands a chance, which diminishes the competitive appeal of the sport. Although this may be partially true, I would argue that UConn’s incredible program has been instrumental in bringing women’s basketball to the attention of mainstream sports consumers. In the grand scheme of sports, we rarely talk about women’s basketball, so maybe the public needed a program like UConn to accomplish incredible feats in order to be interested. Maybe the conversation surrounding the UConn team will extend to women’s hoops in general. Sometimes the public needs a storyline to latch on to, especially in less popular sports that don’t receive as much attention on a daily basis. If this UConn team can bring light to women’s basketball as a whole, I’m all for the dominance to continue.
Photo courtesy Mobilus in Mobili