*Note that, officially, the women's program is officially referred to as the "Huskies," not the "Lady Huskies."
While winning streaks are interesting records that are easy to comprehend, they provide very little information about the degree to which the team has dominated the competition. To clarify matters, I could share with you that the Huskies haven't lost since falling to Stanford in the 2008 NCAA Women's Final Four. I can remind you that, during this time, the UConn women have outscored their competition by an average of nearly 33 points. I could impress upon you that 27 of their 88 match-ups over the course of the streak were against top-25 opponents.
Or I could just show you:
Since 2007, AP voters have cast 87% of their first place votes for Maya Moore & Co. In contrast, Pat Summit's storied Lady Volunteers have won barely 11% of such votes, while North Carolina, Stanford, Baylor and LSU have scavenged for the remainder.
Compare this distribution to that of Men's NCAA Div-I basketball during the exact same period:
No doubt, the UNC Tarheels (27%), Kansas Jayhawks (22%), Memphis Tigers (14%), Duke Blue Devils (10%) and the UConn Huskies men's program (6%) have all performed well on the XY side, but none have been as stingy as the UConn women. Their dominance remains obvious when plotting the best schools' AP rankings over time:
The charts above include the rankings for the top five AP vote-getters in both men's and women's NCAA basketball. Since the beginning of the 2007-2008 season, the UConn women have rarely ceded the #1 spot, and only then to Tennessee before the Lady Vols began their recent decline. On the other hand, four separate schools have occupied the top spot on the men's side, with only MSU failing to reach the top.
Indeed, one can't win 87% of the first-place vote over three-plus seasons without maintaining a consensus among the voters. The last time Connecticut didn't receive any votes for first place was November 19, 2007, when Tennessee held the top spot.
Taking the broad view, it's easy to drive the point home. Going back to the 2007-2008 preseason, the UConn women have earned 16.51% more points in the AP poll than their next best opponent, Stanford. Their average rank is a mind-boggling 1.10, followed by Stanford at 4.46. In contrast, the top vote-getter on the men's side is Duke with an average rank of 6.02, closely followed by UNC at 6.42.
|Women's Team||Avg. Rank||vs. Next Best||Points||vs. Next Best||First Place||% of FPV|
|Men's Team||Avg. Rank||vs. Next Best||Points||vs. Next Best||First Place||% of FPV|
It's clear: the UConn women have dominated in such a fashion that would be unthinkable in Men's basketball, and previously unthinkable in women's basketball.
Tonight, Geno, Maya and the crew go for their 89th straight win against Florida State. While Mr. Auriemma insists that his focus is on the championship, he'll have to forgive us for focusing on this once-in-a-lifetime sports phenomenon.
All data from ESPN's men's and women's NCAA basketball rankings pages.