The Wizard of Westwood's greatest spell has been broken, or least matched, by another legendary coaching magician.
The University of Connecticut women's basketball team equaled one of sport's greatest streaks by notching their 88 consecutive win on December 19, tying UCLA's record run from the 1971-1974 seasons, reports ESPN.
The record-tying win came in a demolition of No. 10 Ohio State, 81-50. Stars Tiffany Hayes and Maya Moore dropped 26 and 22 points respectively, to secure the win in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
"They were unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable," coach Geno Auriemma said. "I like to remind my players all the time, you don't stumble and bumble into the history book. You'll have to do it the right way if you want to get in there. It may not come again."
The Lady Huskies already own the longest winning streak in women's college basketball history and are now in position to claim the all-time record on December 21 if they defeat Florida State.
Coincidentally, the 88th straight win came against Auriemma's good friend, Jim Foster, who gave him his coaching start. Auriemma was an assistant for the girls team under Foster back when both were at Bishop McDevitt High School in Philadelphia.
When Foster got the St. Joseph's women's basketball job in 1978-79 he brought along Auriemma as an assistant coach. Neither could have imagined that 35 years later they would be facing each other at MSG with so much at stake.
"The number's the number. I don't know if that changes me a whole lot right now," Auriemma said. "I'm going to go to a good restaurant tonight. I'm going to have a good bottle of wine. I would have done that either way."
Ohio State (8-2) scored the first six points on consecutive 3-pointers by Brittany Johnson. Then, Hayes took over. After two free throws by Bria Hartley, Hayes scored nine straight points, making three layups and a 3-pointer.
"We were just really locked in after that," Auriemma said. "I'm really proud of my players right now."