It's the Week of the Streak for UConn women
It’s been The Week of the Streak for Connecticut sportswriters and now for the national media, as well, as the UConn women get set to play Ohio State Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with history in their sights.
A win today would give UConn a tie for the most wins in the history of Division I basketball, no easy feat considering the record belongs to the UCLA men’s dynasty of the 1970s. UCLA won seven straight national championships, 10 in all under legendary coach John Wooden.
I spoke to one of Wooden’s players this week, Pete Trgovich, who was a guard for UCLA on Wooden’s final national championship team in 1975. Trgovich also played in the 1974 game against Notre Dame that ended the Bruins’ streak, missing a tip-in as the final seconds ticked by that would have given UCLA the win.
Trgovich was quoted in this week’s New York Times as saying with a laugh: “Just think, someday they may compare us to those great Connecticut women’s teams.”
Trgovich couldn’t have been more gracious, returning my phone call from his home in Munster, Ind. He told me he “envies” the UConn women their streak, knowing what a precious time in history it is for them.
He’s not bitter about the loss to Notre Dame.
“Because of that play,” people know how to say my last name (Turg-o-vitch),” he said with a laugh.
Trgovich said he’ll be watching against Ohio State (2:30 p.m., ESPNU).
“I don’t envision them sitting around the TV getting ready to crack the champagne if we lose,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of the UCLA men. “That’s what’s nice about it.”
A couple other notes regarding the potential record-setter against Ohio State, to be played as a part of the Maggie Dixon Classic, with a game against Rutgers and Texas A&M preceding it at noon:
-- UConn senior guard Lorin Dixon played at Madison Square Garden several times while at Christ the King High School in New York City.
On one occasion in 2006, the top-ranked Royals were playing No. 2 Murry Bergtraum at the Garden. UConn alum Tina Charles made a shot at the buzzer to give Christ the King a 65-63 victory, with Dixon adding 17 points.
“The atmosphere is gonna be unreal,” Lorin said this week. “The Garden brings back happy memories of playing there. I feel like everybody’s just going to be really pumped. I’m sure it’ll start out a little hectic, but I’m sure both teams will settle down.”
-- A reporter at practice Friday asked UConn’s Maya Moore about attending her first Final Four as a fan when she was 8 years old and asked if she ever thought then that she’d be standing where she is now.
Maya, in response to what she was thinking when she was 8, said: “Making sure my shoes stayed on my feet, that they were tied, whatever I’m eating for lunch and making sure I had a ball in my hands at all times.”
-- Following are some of the longest winning streaks in team sports:
228, Trinity College (Hartford) men’s squash (1998-active)
109, Penn State women’s volleyball (2007-10)
92, North Carolina women’s soccer (1999-94)
88, UCLA men’s basketball (1971-74)
87, UConn women’s basketball (2008-active)
33, NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers (1972)
26, MLB’s New York Giants (1916)
21, NFL’s New England Patriots (2003-04)
17, NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins (1993)
-- More from the Garden.
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