Richard Deitsch: No Comparison For UConn’s Run

The Connecticut’s women basketball team, with 75 straight wins and four consecutive national titles, is officially the most dominant dynasty in American sports.

But is that dominance bad for the game? Some say yes, some say no.

Richard Deitsch says no.

“No, I don’t subscribe to that (way of thinking),” the Sports Illustrated writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Having covered the sport for nearly 15 years . . . UConn’s dominance has made other programs have to get better – have to get better in terms of recruiting, have to get better in terms of facilities, have to get better in terms of coaching. And one of the fruits of that, you saw this year: Three new Final Four teams in Syracuse, Washington and Oregon State. And you will see next year, when the Big Three at UConn are gone – Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson – that UConn will not be a favorite next year. Most likely it’ll be Notre Dame or Baylor or South Carolina. One of those three will probably be the preseason No. 1 and UConn will (be somewhere in the top five). So the sport will have changed next year. It’s going to be wide open. I think you should respect how hard it has been for that program to be that excellent for that long, and I think we’ve done that in other sports.”

The Edmonton Oilers, the New York Islanders, the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bulls, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps – the list goes on.

“Those stories are celebrated,” Deitsch said. “That dominance, generally speaking, is good for the sport, and it makes other teams and other programs have to work harder to catch them, which, I think, in general is also good for a sport.”

Many want to compare Geno Auriemma’s dominance to that of John Wooden’s, but even that isn’t a perfect comparison.

“It’s so hard to tell,” Deitsch said. “For one, freshmen didn’t play back then, so everything sort of is jumbled. Two, the men’s game back then feels a little bit like the women’s game. The talent was not as spread out as it is today. I feel like that’s a little bit of a similarity. Wooden won more in terms of a shorter time span than Auriemma did. It’s a nice comparison int terms of dominance, but the sports are so different and the eras are so different that, to me, that’s a tough one. I think even Auriemma, I don’t think he’s particularly comfortable (with the comparison). Obviously he’s got great respect for Wooden, but the game’s are different. It’d be like comparing the leading scorer in women’s college basketball scorer versus the leading scorer in men’s college basketball. You wouldn’t be ranking them together in the same statistical category just because it’s a different game.”

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