The Arizona Wildcats have the now dearly departed Streak in basketball — 25 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Thanks, Lute.
Arizona has The Streak in football — the upset-filled nine-season unbeaten run against Arizona State, from 1982 to 1990. Thanks, Larry Smith and Dick Tomey.
Arizona has so much more.
With a big boost from coach Mike Candrea‘s eight-time national championship softball program, the Wildcats have plenty of other (lower-case) streaks to celebrate.
Here are 12 of the best team streaks, in no particular order:
1. Softball’s 16 consecutive appearances in the College World Series, from 1988 to 2003. If not for a shocking upset in the regionals when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1 under interim head coach Larry Ray, the streak would be up to 22.
2. Softball’s 17 consecutive seasons with an All-American pitcher, from 1991 (Debby Day) to 2007 (Taryne Mowatt). This helps explain that College World Series streak.
3. Men’s basketball 71-game winning streak in McKale Center (1987-1992). It included a double-overtime win against eventual national champion Duke in 1991 and ended with an 89-87 loss to UCLA on Jan. 11, 1992.
4. Softball’s 18 consecutive years of being ranked No. 1 at some point of the season. That streak ended in 2009.
5. Women’s swimming current streak of 19 consecutive top 10 finishes in the NCAA meet. Thanks, Frank Busch. (The women also have a streak of six top three finishes in a row.)
6. Men’s swimming current streak of 12 consecutive top 8 national finishes in the NCAAs. Thanks again, Frank Busch. (Men’s and women’s swimming each won a national title in 2008.)
7. Men’s basketball 312 consecutive appearances in the AP regular-season poll. But not one week in 2009-10.
8. Softball’s 38-game winning streak over Arizona State (1991-2000). All the more amazing because the Sun Devils had a decent program, but Candrea owned his alma mater.
9. Men’s basketball’s 81-game winning streak in Bear Down Gym (1945-51). All that in the watch of coach Fred Enke.
10. Football’s 214-game scoring streak. It started with the 1972 season and ended with a 28-0 loss to Syracuse in the 1990 Aloha Bowl. It was the second-longest streak in the nation at the time.
11. Softball’s 47-game winning streak from April 1996 to March 1997. That’s an NCAA record.
12. And here’s one more from softball: The Wildcats had a 70-game winning streak at Hillenbrand Stadium from 2000 to 2002).
Individually, it’s hard to believe anything tops Jennie Finch‘s 60 consecutive pitching victories from 2000 to 2002. Another super softball streak: Caitlin Lowe stole 56 bases without being caught.
In softball, Amy Chellevold has the school’s longest hitting streak at 30 games. The baseball hitting streak belongs to Brian Anderson (2003) and Jason Donald (2006) at 26 games.
More impressive might be what Jake Thrower did in 1997. He had hits in 11 consecutive at-bats.
Have a favorite streak we missed? Let us know in the comments section or at anthonygimino (at) gmail.com.