Even In Defeat, UConn's Effect On Women's Sports Endures

The most successful team in college sports history changed everything for a generation

The longest winning streak in college sports history came to an end this past weekend. The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team’s run of 111 straight victories ended with a last-second overtime loss to Mississippi State during the Women’s Final Four tournament. The lady Huskies remain the most successful college sports program in the country, with eleven national titles, over forty conference regular season championship wins, and the two longest winning streaks in both men’s and women’s college basketball. While the Huskies’ first loss since 2014 ended a monumental run, it can’t impact their unmatched impact on sports.

Women's basketball has been an emerging sport for decades. From the birth of the sport in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the success of Title IX in 1972 and the founding of the WNBA in 1996, women’s basketball fought a long battle for respect. The Huskies pushed the sport forward like no other team, breaking barriers and records, and influencing a generation of female athletes. Like Red Sox Nation or Patriots Nation, UConn built a following. Rabid fandom is not unique to sports, but it was for women's college basketball.

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