Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Decade of UConn Women's Basketball Wins and Losses, At a Glance

Last Friday, ran a piece documenting the best 100-game stretches in U.S. college sports and major pro leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. At the time the article appeared, the University of Connecticut (UConn) women's basketball program had won 99 of its last 100 games (now 101 of its last 102). The legendary UCLA men's basketball program under coach John Wooden also had recorded a 99-1 stretch, from 1971-74.

The UConn women under coach Geno Auriemma have been dominant since winning the first of their 10 NCAA national times (and compiling the first of their five undefeated seasons) in 1995. I, therefore, wanted to look at the Huskies' long-term success beyond their past 100 games.

I decided to examine UConn's last 400 games, representing roughly the past decade of play. The Huskies' past 400 games span from the opening game of the 2005-06 season all the way to last night, when UConn routed Central Florida, 106-51. In these games, the Huskies are 377-23 (.942).

This record appears more compelling, in my view, when viewed in graphic form. I've thus created a diagram that shows 400 dots (one for each game), with wins depicted in blue and losses in red. The games are arranged in chronological sequence, from the first contest in the upper-left corner, advancing across each row of dots, until the 400th game in the lower-right corner. Here's the diagram:

Pretty blue, huh? I can't think of a way to convey the Huskies' dominance any more dramatically. The picture includes both a 90-game winning streak (the NCAA Division I record among men or women) and the current 101-1 stretch, as indicated by the side annotations. To help with interpretation of the diagram, I also created the following legend:

(You can click on the graphics to enlarge them.)