On Friday, the UConn women’s basketball team saw their unprecedented 111 game winning streak come to an end with a 66-64 overtime loss to Mississippi State during their Final Four matchup. Critics have argued that the UConn women detract from women’s basketball, however with their talent inspiring one of the greatest basketball games in history, it is clear that the dominance of the UConn women has propelled the sport further.
Coach Geno Auriemma accurately captured the feeling of UConn fans saying in a post-game press conference that to get this far in the season and then lose after 111 unbroken victories “the worst feeling imaginable.” Though the stunning loss cut short what many assumed to be another championship season, it does not take away from the remarkable achievement.
Students were incredulous, with many having never seen the women lose a game during their time at UConn. Though surprising, this loss does not detract from one of the achievements of one of the greatest sports dynasties in American history. While the buzzer beater loss was stunning, talk of UConn coming “back” to dominance next year looks past the path to Friday night.
This had been the longest winning streak in collegiate basketball. Although, with those sort of numbers, some would undoubtedly relish in this loss the negativity and surprise cannot take away from that record. Luckily even the most conservative expectations for next season predict continued dominance, built off the dedication of this team, captured in a recently-concluded HBO documentary series.
We just witnessed the greatest game in the history of women's college basketball. What a phenomenal performance from Mississippi State.
— Dan Madigan (@dmad1433) April 1, 2017
Women’s basketball has benefitted from the unmatched feat completed by the UConn women’s basketball team. As Daily Campus sports editor Dan Madigan noted while providing coverage, we likely witnessed the greatest women’s college basketball game of all time on Friday night. UConn’s excellence has clearly pushed other teams, like the team from Mississippi State that handed us defeat, to a new level of play.