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UConn’s 90-game women’s basketball streak among best in sports history

Coach John Wooden, center, led UCLA to  an NCAA-record 88-game winning streak between 1971 and 1974. (Anonymous / Associated Press)
Coach John Wooden, center, led UCLA to an NCAA-record 88-game winning streak between 1971 and 1974. (Anonymous / Associated Press)
By Pat Eaton-Robb Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. – UConn’s women’s basketball team is on the verge of winning its 91st straight game, which would break its own NCAA Division I record that was set between 2008 and 2010.

The Huskies play Saturday at SMU, a team that is 10-6 and just lost to Tulane.

UConn’s streak ranks among the most impressive in sports, but there are plenty of others. Here’s a look at some of them:

Trinity squash: UConn’s women don’t own the longest winning streak in college sports history, or even in the state of Connecticut. That streak belongs to the Trinity men’s squash team. The Bantams won 252 consecutive matches, including 13 national championships, between February 1998 and January 2012, when they lost to rival Yale.

Wayland Baptist women’s basketball: The Huskies also don’t own the longest streak in women’s college basketball. Wayland Baptist in Plainview, Texas, won 131 straight between 1953 and 1958, when the Flying Queens finally lost in the AAU national semifinals to their rivals, the Nashville Business College. Their streak included four straight AAU national championships.

UCLA men’s basketball: UConn’s streaks are most often compared to the 88-game benchmark put up by John Wooden and the UCLA men between 1971 and 1974. There are parallels. Both programs are considered the best in the history of their sport. UCLA won 10 titles during the Wooden era. UConn and Auriemma have 11. UCLA won the final three of its seven consecutive titles during the winning streak. UConn has won four straight, two during the streak.

Oklahoma college football: Oklahoma went more than three seasons without losing or tying a game. Its 47 consecutive wins between 1953 and 1957 is seven games longer than the second-longest major college football streak, put up by Washington between 1908 and 1914. Alabama, by comparison, won 26 straight before losing to Clemson on Monday.

New England Patriots, NFL: New England won 21 straight games between October 2003 and October 2004, including two playoff games and a Super Bowl (32-29 over Carolina). The Patriots’ streak was broken in 2004 by Pittsburgh. But the Patriots recovered to go 14-2 that season and beat the Eagles for a second consecutive title.

Edwin Moses, track and field: Moses holds perhaps the most impressive individual winning streak. The two-time Olympic champion hurdler won 122 consecutive 400-meter races, including 107 straight finals between August 1977 and June 1987. Moses was 31 years old when he lost to fellow American Danny Harris, who was 10 years younger, at a meet in Spain.

Byron Nelson, golf: Byron Nelson dominated the PGA Tour in 1945, winning 18 tournaments, including an unprecedented 11 in a row. The closest any other golfer has come to that record is seven straight, accomplished by Tiger Woods 2006 and 2007.

Martina Navratilova, tennis: Martina Navratilova won 74 straight matches in 1984, including 13 straight tournaments. She also holds the doubles streak record with Pam Shriver. The pair won 109 straight matches between 1983 and 1985.

Harlem Globetrotters, exhibition basketball: The games were a lot more exhibition than competition, but the Harlem Globetrotters lay claim to an 8,829-game winning streak that ran between 1971 and 1995. The streak was ended in Vienna, Austria, by an all-star team led by Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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