In February, the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team achieved something that no other sports team accomplished in modern-day sports history. Their dominate style of play this season allowed them to reach an unheard of win streak of 100 consecutive games. Coach Geno Auriemma has created an environment that exceeds the X’s and O’s on the game board normally associated with women’s basketball. This team has an exceptional amount of confidence when they take the floor. They literally feel that the game strategy fits their team’s style of play. Coach Auriemma has developed a winning scheme based on the talent pools that exist in the Huskies locker room. Quite simply, they have the ability to execute an outstanding offense with an equally exceptional defense on the court. So, when they stepped in the arena to play the South Carolina Gamecocks, they knew exactly what they had to do to reach the magical number of 100 wins.
The top ranked UCONN Huskies went into the game against the #6-rated South Carolina University Gamecocks knowing that they would be challenged on both ends of the court. As the game progressed it was evident that the Gamecocks were not going to be intimidated by all of the hoopla surrounding the game. The win streak was unheard of in sports history, let alone women’s basketball, and South Carolina wanted no part of it. But as the game progressed, it was a foregone conclusion that the Huskies would be unstoppable with UCONN’s Gabby Williams scoring 26 points and Naphessa Collier adding 18. Throw in the outstanding defensive play of Collier and the South Carolina turnovers, the outcome was predictable with a final score of 66 – 55.
As we approach the post season play of March Madness the question is: “Can the Huskies hang on for a national championship?” Obviously, in the NCAA tournament, you can be one and done if you lose. I personally think that UCONN has the where-with-all to capture the title. Great teams are composed of excellent coaching and talented players that can operate the game plan. The Huskies are a well-oiled machine that exudes confidence countered with a great deal of respect for every opponent they face. They are confident, but not cocky, whose mission is simply to play to win and not to lose.