A Streak Shattered
April 10, 2017
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University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball has been making history for the past two and a half years. The team racked up a record-high 111 wins in a row, having not lost a single game since November 2014. Although thought of by everyone as the dominant force in this year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, UConn was shocked on March 31.
After having made it to the Final Four, UConn lost to Mississippi State in a close overtime ending. With one second left on the clock, 5’5” guard Morgan Williams threw up a lofty shot and was amazed when it went in, giving Mississippi State the win and the right to advance to the championship game.
The Bulldogs were overjoyed with their win and the entire team was in tears. UConn fans, on the other hand, were crushed that such a monumental record was shattered so close to the end of what was almost another perfect season.
Trip M., an eighth grade boy, had never been very involved in Women’s Basketball or UConn. “I started following them when they hit 100 on their win streak, because that’s an insane achievement and they deserve respect,” he said.
When asked about how he felt after their loss, he replied, “I wasn’t even that sad. I was just disappointed that after so long they played the way they did and lost.”
Trip’s feelings are similar to many other students who watched the game. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is typically overshadowed by the March Madness Tournament; however, the UConn Huskies piqued the interest of many men’s college basketball fans.
According to ESPN, women’s basketball viewership is up 57 percent since last year, and the majority of this viewership can be traced to the success of UConn.
UConn’s 111-game win streak is actually the longest streak in the history of basketball, men’s or women’s, and such a monumental record guaranteed attention from a wide variety of sports enthusiasts.
Even people who would not typically watch women’s sports did not want to see such an important moment in basketball end.
Kaelan K., an eighth grade boy, has been a fan of UConn since he was born. “UConn is my one and only college basketball team. My mother, father, uncle, and aunt all went there, so the school is a big part of my family,” he said.
Although Kaelan loves UConn, he was not in tears after the final buzzer sounded.
“I expected it, and I wasn’t that sad. Mississippi State is a good team, so it’s all right. But it was hard to see the streak end, and I really think we could have pulled it off. Mississippi State did a great job slowing down the game, and since we weren’t able to stay composed, we lost,” he said.
UConn is still a great team and Kaelan believes they will continue to be great under one condition. “It’s possible for us to be dominant in the games to come if Geno Auriemma stays on as head coach. He’s done great work, and the team needs him to thrive.”
Beck E., however, was one of the very few people glad to see a team take down the queens of women’s college basketball. “I was kind of glad UConn finally lost. I get that a lot more people like women’s basketball now because of UConn and how good they are, but for me it just kind of ruins the fun and the intrigue of games. You pretty much knew UConn was going to win until now,” he said.
UConn’s amazing accomplishment will never be forgotten, but people, regardless of their respective teams, are ready for a new chapter of women’s basketball, and who knows if this new chapter will be ruled by The Huskies or not.
Winning 111 games in a row is nearly impossible, but hopefully someday this streak will be broken again, and women’s basketball will continue to grow as a franchise.
Photo Courtesy of Kaelan K.