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rickyISking

UCLA's 88 v. UConn's 100 and counting

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Which is the most impressive to you? 

 

Personally, I'd have to go with UCLA, as most of UConn's women's games have been blowouts. You could argue that since UConn dominated most of their opponents, they are the most impressive. But I'm a sucker for close games.

 

 But winning 100 in a row is pretty damn impressive, it possibly will never be beaten again.

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I think that you could argue UCLA's is more impressive because of the strength of competition. Women's basketball's top tier drops off a cliff after about the top 5 to 8 teams, which is why UConn can roll teams by 50 or 70 through the first three rounds of the tourney. The counter to that argument, though, is that Auriemma has built such an unparalleled machine at Storrs, there is genuinely nowhere else for the best twelve players in the country to go.

 

The goal right now for UConn is for a player to earn a title all four years. It may soon be the goal to go undefeated all four years. That is stupefying.

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Equal, maybe.  I wasn't alive for UCLA's streak so I don't know how much parity there was in college basketball back then compared to now.  What I will say for UConn, though, is that the streak is obviously still going, seems pretty reasonable to think it's not going to end this season, and they're supposed to be greatly improved next season.  After last season they lost the top three picks in the WNBA draft and just keep rolling.

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I don't know if the dynamics of the men's game was really that different back then than it is today, and if was then I'm lacking the proper context. But, come on now, it's UCLA. 

 

UConn is a GREAT team for what they are, but they're a women's college basketball team. I don't mean that to sound sexist, and I don't really mean anything disparaging towards women athletes. But they're ABSOLUTELY a product of an incredibly broken system. Resources when it comes to talent are stretched beyond thin and to the breaking point. Just look at the difference of score margin they're putting up. It's staggering how much they win by. They've won like 10% of games in this streak by 60 or more points, and have won ALL but two games by ten or more. You don't put up those kind of numbers in a 100 game span without there being some really serious problems with the sport itself. 

 

It's an impressive streak, but terribly underwhelming (especially considering this is at least the second run they've had like this). More than anything, I just don't care. 

 

2 hours ago, Sodboy13 said:

I think that you could argue UCLA's is more impressive because of the strength of competition. Women's basketball's top tier drops off a cliff after about the top 5 to 8 teams, which is why UConn can roll teams by 50 or 70 through the first three rounds of the tourney. The counter to that argument, though, is that Auriemma has built such an unparalleled machine at Storrs, there is genuinely nowhere else for the best twelve players in the country to go.

 

The goal right now for UConn is for a player to earn a title all four years. It may soon be the goal to go undefeated all four years. That is stupefying.

 

You see though? That's not a good thing at all. How can you really be competitive if there is literally no competition? It kinda feels like Pat Summit's decline and death was the worst thing that could've happened to the sport. It barely registered when she was around (I was a HUGE Lady Vols fan, BTW), but now? My goodness, what's the point? 

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UCLA is more impressive. They play in an incredibly weak conference and just like the McDonalds All American game is usually Kentucky vs Louisville and Duke, the girls game is UConn first team vs South Carolina and a bunch of other schools. Like has already been mentioned, there's a big drop between the top 5 schools down to the next 15 down to everyone else. That's not the case in the men's game. It's such a difference that it's not even worth watching the women's tournament until the last 16 when the games start to get more competitive.

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6 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

You see though? That's not a good thing at all. How can you really be competitive if there is literally no competition? It kinda feels like Pat Summit's decline and death was the worst thing that could've happened to the sport. It barely registered when she was around (I was a HUGE Lady Vols fan, BTW), but now? My goodness, what's the point? 

 

It's to the detriment of the sport that Pat and Geno had their feud and refused to play each other for years. And it's a paradox for women's hoops: UConn has to fall somewhat for other teams to build sustainable competition. But the Globetrotters v Generals setup going on now is about the only thing that draws mainstream national attention.

 

Of course, you could always start playing the players, and probably end up with at least a dozen teams that could hang with UConn. You'd have about a hundred programs fold, though.

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Not being around during UCLA's time, it's tough to judge.  An 88-game men's streak today would be far more impressive, given that the best players play one year.  But that wasn't the case in the late-1960s.  

 

On one hand, I want to ding UConn because there's just no parity in women's ball.  That you'll never see a men's program roll like they do does not make them head-and-shoulders the best; the comparison is apples and oranges.

 

But when this happens...

 

8 hours ago, See Red said:

Equal, maybe.  I wasn't alive for UCLA's streak so I don't know how much parity there was in college basketball back then compared to now.  What I will say for UConn, though, is that the streak is obviously still going, seems pretty reasonable to think it's not going to end this season, and they're supposed to be greatly improved next season.  After last season they lost the top three picks in the WNBA draft and just keep rolling.

...they clearly are doing something amazing.  Cynically, you could say that they've gotten to the point at which recruiting is barely even necessary.  But even if that's the case, Auriemma and UConn created that landscape, rendering this streak years/decades in the making through all that they do.  

 

Regardless of all the hairs we split, it's really impressive.  

 

Is it good for the game?  It's the age-old question we have on this board about the Patriots or any other dynasty...except that sometimes, I don't even think it occurs to you that they may not win.  That's never the case in the other sports we talk about alot.  I think I saw an ESPN graphic that said 98 of these 100 wins were by double-digits.  That's all the more amazing and all the more boring.  If I were a bigger women's basketball fan, I am sure I'd hate it; some years (like last year), there's essentially no chance they don't win it all.  And even as a non-fan (who tuned in to see it happen; albeit while running a treadmill with music in my ears), I'm getting sick of it. I'm glad we don't have a men's program that's on a current 100-game streak.

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The sad reality is that men's basketball is an arms race whereas a vast majority of schools maintain women's basketball solely for Title IX compliance.

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 There was less parity in men's basketball in the early 70s than today.  Just look at some of the scores on these links . . . even in games against what are now Power 5 schools.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971–72_UCLA_Bruins_men's_basketball_team

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972–73_UCLA_Bruins_men's_basketball_team

 

UCLA also benefited from the "one team per conference" rule in the NCAA Tournament.  They probably wound up avoiding a lot of Top 10 or Top 15 teams that wound up second in their conferences (ex. No. 11 Maryland in 1972).

 

That said, I think there were still more men's teams that could challenge UCLA during its streak than there are women's teams that can challenge UConn now.  Therefore, for now, I will go with UCLA's streak being slightly more impressive . . . but check back with me if we're having this discussion a year from now.

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Important to remember that UCLA's streak happened without the shot clock and without the three pointer and I think at the time the smaller tournament field really hampered recruiting efforts for schools outside of those power teams. I think the talent is spread out more and there's a larger pool of players today. Today an inferior team can beat a better team with a good shooting night. It's why nobody's gone undefeated in 40 years. Back then if you had a dominant center or two you could bank a lead and then four corners it for 20 minutes. In other words the game came down to fewer players at that time. Of course Kareem only lost 2 college games in 3 years with those rules. 

 

It's still very impressive and I'd put it over UConn's streak. UConn's women's basketball is funded and run like a men's program and there are only a few other programs like that in the women's game and even those aren't operating like the machine in Connecticut. They have an incredible advantage, albeit it's one that they created themselves. You do have to give them credit for that. The talent pool is much smaller and UConn scores like 3 of the top 5 high school players every year. If you're a good women's high school player and you want to win don't you kind of have to go to UConn right now? 

 

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9 hours ago, See Red said:

Equal, maybe.  I wasn't alive for UCLA's streak so I don't know how much parity there was in college basketball back then compared to now.  What I will say for UConn, though, is that the streak is obviously still going, seems pretty reasonable to think it's not going to end this season, and they're supposed to be greatly improved next season.  After last season they lost the top three picks in the WNBA draft and just keep rolling.

 

MUCH.  LESS.

 

Your blue blood programs became blue bloods for the most part during this era because they could spend most of the time clubbing the baby seals that were the rest of the college basketball landscape, and at the same time the men's college game wasn't nearly as "professionalized" (complete with constant training programs) as today.

 

And yeah, the one team per conference rule (as well as actual geographic regionals) did UCLA a lot of favors come tourney time.

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23 minutes ago, rams80 said:

 

MUCH.  LESS.

 

 

To help make the point, these are the 1971-72 scores from the link above.

 

Dec. 3 The Citadel W 105–49 

Dec. 4 Iowa W 106–72 

Dec. 10 Iowa St. W 110–81 

Dec. 11 Texas A&M W 117–53 

Dec. 22 Notre DameW 114–56

Dec. 23 TCU W 119–81

Dec. 29 Texas W 115–65 

Dec. 30 Ohio St. W 79–53

Jan. 7 Oregon St. W 78–72 

Jan. 8 Oregon W 93–68 

Jan. 14 Stanford W 118–79 

Jan. 15 California W 82–43 

Jan. 21 Santa Clara W 92–57 

Jan. 22 Denver W 108–61 

Jan. 28(n) Loyola (IL) W 92–64 

Jan. 29 at Notre Dame W 57–32 

Feb. 5 USC W 81–56 

Feb. 11 Wash. St. W 89–58 

Feb. 12 Washington W 109–70 

Feb. 19 at Washington W 100–83 

Feb. 21 at Wash. St. W 85–55 

Feb. 25 Oregon W 92–70 

Feb. 26 Oregon St. W 91–72 

Mar. 3 at California W 85–71 

Mar. 4 at Stanford W 102–73 

Mar. 10 at USC W 79–66 

Mar. 16 (Sweet 16) Weber St .W 90–58 

Mar. 18 (Elite 8) Long Beach St. W 73–57 

Mar. 23 (Final Four) Louisville W 96–77 

Mar. 25 (Championship) Florida State W 81–76 

 

One thing that is striking, besides the margins of victory, is how often they broke 100 points with no shot clock and no 3-point shot.

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I give UConn's 100 about 70% of the hype it's receiving with many outlets.  Sure the competition depth is shallower than UCLA's run, yet 100 is 100 is 100.

I'm familiar a bit with this type of set up with women's hockey - where it's Canada or USA or Finland or Canada or USA or Canada or USA or Canada or Finland.  Yes, we see the medal streaks.  And?

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2 hours ago, rams80 said:

 

MUCH.  LESS.

 

Your blue blood programs became blue bloods for the most part during this era because they could spend most of the time clubbing the baby seals that were the rest of the college basketball landscape, and at the same time the men's college game wasn't nearly as "professionalized" (complete with constant training programs) as today.

 

And yeah, the one team per conference rule (as well as actual geographic regionals) did UCLA a lot of favors come tourney time.

Look at the Pac-8 standings from that era.  It was UCLA and possibly another team with double digit conference wins and the rest fighting to be .500.  While UCLA did cross the Mississippi before conference play, it wasn't overly strong.  Plus even after the expanded tournament, they received a bye, so to get to the Final Four, all they had to do was to win two games against an Independent or one of the following conferences: WAC, PCAA (now Big West), WCAC (now WCC)  or Big Sky. 

 

Plus, as far as we know, UConn doesn't have a Sam Gilbert. 

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