Historian Auriemma looking to rewrite basketball history
Geno Auriemma is a connoisseur of history.
When the Connecticut women’s basketball coach boards a flight, he does it with a sports biography in tow. During UConn’s 70-game winning streak from 2001-03, his favorite was a biography of Vince Lombardi. Last season, as his Huskies shattered their own record, completing back-to-back 39-0 seasons for the first time in women’s history, Auriemma kept a John Wooden book in his briefcase.
In a matter of days, Auriemma could be rewriting Wooden’s history. When top-ranked UConn faces No. 11 Ohio State at Madison Square Garden, the Huskies will be looking for consecutive victory No. 88, tying Wooden’s 1971-74 UCLA men for the longest streak in Division I hoops history.
And if UConn earns the tie, the record-breaker is a foregone conclusion Tuesday against Florida State. Eclipsing Wooden is among the final frontiers for Auriemma’s program, which has won seven national titles since 1995. Led by senior Maya Moore, who recently became UConn’s all-time leading scorer, the Huskies are 9-0.
The freshmen-laden Huskies have survived their only scare, rallying from eight down late to No. 2 Baylor for a one-point victory, allowing the Huskies to challenge history.
“The only thing I would ever say is, we’re the only ones in position to be able to do something that everybody thinks is pretty significant,” Auriemma told the New York Times this week. “No one else has and no one else can right now. So now that we’re here, let’s get it done. Let’s win.”