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UConn stands alone, earning ranking in women's basketball poll for record 566th consecutive week

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma protests a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker)
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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma protests a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker)

Geno Auriemma has seen hundreds of players come through UConn over the past 30 years.

The names have changed from Rebecca Lobo to Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart — the standard has not. The eighth-ranked Huskies passed Tennessee on Monday, earning a spot in The Associated Press women's basketball poll for a record 566th consecutive week, breaking a tie with the Lady Vols for the most all-time.

“Players come and go and eras come and go, but what we’re most proud of is that at Connecticut we expect being in that spot,” Auriemma said. “That’s good and bad.”

During their 30-year run, the Huskies have never been worse than No. 18 — the team's ranking in the preseason poll of 1993-94 when the streak started.

“Like many things that this UConn program has accomplished over the past 30 years, this ranked streak is something that no one on that team could have fathomed," said Lobo, who starred on the team that started the run and now is an analyst for ESPN. "And to realize that UConn hasn’t been ranked worse than No. 18 in that time, I mean c’mon, that’s not normal.”

The Huskies have won a record 11 national championships since that streak began and have been No. 1 in the poll 250 of the weeks. UConn has also been in the top 10 for an incredible 548 of the 566 weeks, including a run of 313 straight polls.

“The most impressive part of UConn's excellence is the way they've sustained it," Lobo said. "Others have had great teams and impressive runs of success, but no program other than Tennessee has come close to touching what Geno and UConn have done. Thirty years is just ridiculous.”

UConn has had many eye-popping streaks over the past 30 years that have all ended, including a 111-game winning streak; 1,083 consecutive games without back-to-back losses; and their run of 14 consecutive Final Four appearances.

The poll streak will end too at some point, but for now Auriemma will enjoy the run.

“We’re pretty proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Auriemma said. “Knowing what players we want to get and the players that buy into this is what the expectation is here. This is how high the bar is set here.”

No. 20 Maryland has the second-longest active streak, appearing in the poll now for 251 consecutive weeks. The Huskies will welcome the Terrapins on Thursday night.

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