Greg Wooden, grandson of UCLA men’s coach John Wooden, had never attended a women’s game before last night. It was a night, Greg insisted, that his grandfather would have been proud to witness.
The UConn women stand alone in Division I hoops history. With their 93-62 win over No. 22 Florida State, the Huskies won their 89th straight game, surpassing Wooden’s UCLA teams from 1971-74.
“My grandfather would have been absolutely thrilled to see his streak broken by a women’s basketball team,” Greg Wooden said of his grandfather, who died at age 99 in June.
UConn hasn’t lost since the 2008 Final Four semifinals versus Stanford. UConn surpassed its own Division I women’s record of 70 consecutive victories (2001-03) in March. But it was the UCLA record, snapped by Notre Dame in 1974, that sparked heated debate about whether a women’s streak deserves comparison to a hallowed men’s record.
But Greg Wooden said his grandfather long ago gave his stamp of approval.
“[John Wooden] thought for the past 10 years, the best basketball was played at the collegiate level, and it wasn’t by the men,” Greg said. “He felt they were playing basketball closest to his style, especially the Connecticut women.”