One year ago, on the night after Super Bowl Sunday, Geno Auriemma sat alongside three stalwart seniors and momentarily imagined a coaching life without them.
“I start to blink because I look out there and start to think that these three are not going to be there next year,” Auriemma, coach of the Connecticut women’s basketball powerhouse, said after a solid road victory over then-unbeaten and second-ranked South Carolina.
He also appeared to be blinking away a tear or two at the thought of losing those three players: Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck.
That moment of emotional reflection for Auriemma, who is better known for biting sarcasm, came after a 60th consecutive victory, to which the Huskies predictably added 15 more on the way to their fourth straight (and 11th overall) national championship.
Not many, including Auriemma, would have bet the mortgage on the streaks — both in games and titles — lasting much longer. But on Monday night, in a sold-out and expectant Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies made it an even 100 straight victories, swarming that same South Carolina team, 66-55, to cross the triple-digit threshold.