UConn Women’s Basketball Finishes AAC Run with Perfect 139-0 Record

Jesse Pantuosco
March 10, 2020 - 1:53 pm

Care to guess how many times the UConn women’s basketball team has lost to an AAC opponent in conference play? The answer would be zero and after routing third-seeded Cincinnati in Monday night’s conference title game, they never will. The most storied program in women’s hoops only spent seven years in the American Athletic Conference—UConn is bolting to the Big East next season—but boy did the Huskies leave their mark.

Geno Auriemma’s squad wrapped up its regular season with a perfect 16-0 conference record before tacking on three more wins by a combined 108 points in the AAC Tournament. That runs the Huskies’ all-time AAC record to a pristine 139-0. The American isn’t exactly a hoops gauntlet—outside of Connecticut (No. 5), none of the conference’s other 11 schools are ranked in the AP Top 25. But the fact UConn went seven years without a single hiccup is a testament to the program’s incredible longevity under Auriemma, an 11-time National Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Despite their unblemished play in the comparatively low-stakes AAC, the 2019-20 season has been a frustrating one for the Huskies, at least relative to the team’s usual cut-throat standards. UConn has already dropped three games this season—each in uncharacteristically lopsided fashion—including rare home blemishes to sixth-ranked Baylor and Sabrina Ionescu-led Oregon. The loss to Baylor was the Huskies’ first defeat on home turf since falling to Notre Dame in 2013, a span of 98 straight victories within state borders.

UConn’s decline—if losing a combined eight games in four seasons qualifies as that—has been evident during the team’s recent championship dry spell. The Huskies have followed up a string of four straight NCAA titles (all led by Storrs legend Breanna Stewart) by losing in the Final Four in each of their last three seasons.

UConn’s return to the Big East—where the program first became a powerhouse in the 1990s—comes on the heels of a seven-year layover in the AAC, which was founded at the peak of conference realignment in 2013. The Huskies’ 18 Big East titles, including a run of nine straight from 1994-02, still stand as the most in conference history.

While we’re on the subject of UConn basketball, Tuesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Kemba Walker’s iconic shot to stun Pittsburgh in the 2011 Big East tournament. That dagger kick-started the Huskies’ eventual title run, a miracle stretch that ended with UConn capturing a narrow win over Butler (then coached by current Celtics bench boss Brad Stevens) in the National Championship.

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