College hoops' longest winning and losing streaks between two teams
Portland's win against Gonzaga -- ending a 20-game losing streak -- got us to thinking. What are the longest active one-sided affairs in the sport?
One of the more amazing streaks in college basketball came to an end Thursday night in Portland. In fact, two streaks, really. The first was Portland's 20-game nightmare against Gonzaga, mercifully, concluding with the Pilots' 82-73 victory over the No. 22 Bulldogs. It was February of 2003 the last time Portland beat Gonzaga. Twenty scouting reports, 20 walkthroughs and 20 tip-offs; half as many 11-hour round-trip bus rides to Spokane that revolved around a loss. Two head coaches and more than a hundred players between victories. Finally, the curse is lifted.
But here's the other remarkable streak that ended: That '03 win for Portland came at Gonzaga. In fact, the Pilots hadn't defeated the Zags in the city of Portland, on their home floor, since prior to Michael Jordan's first retirement with the Chicago Bulls. Yes, all the way back in 1996. It was 17 wins a row for Gonzaga and, subsequently, 17 losses in a row for Portland when games were played in the Chiles Center. Unfathomable, considering the cliche that nothing's harder to do in college basketball than win a road game in your conference.
In light of these streaks ceasing, I wanted to bring to your attention the greatest domination strains in the history of college basketball, both current and all-time. In terms of consecutive road victories against one opponent, Gonzaga has one of the best. Kansas went from 1984-2008 without losing a game at Kansas State. In that time, Kansas did drop a couple of games at Phog Allen, however.
According to NCAA record books, here are the most all-time consecutive wins by one team over another.
52: UCLA vs. California 1961-1985
47: Syracuse vs. Colgate 1963-2013†
41: Southern California vs. UCLA 1932-1943
39: Kentucky vs. Ole Miss 1929-1972
39: Marquette vs. Milwaukee 1917-2012†
39: Rhode Island vs. Maine 1924-1952
38: Arizona vs. Washington St. 1986-2004
38: Providence vs. Brown 1959-1978
35: Connecticut vs. New Hampshire 1939-1961
35: South Carolina vs. Citadel 1945-1988
† active streak
The UCLA pwnage of Cal is legendary. I think Syracuse will soon have the record, though. It plays Colgate every season and Syracuse is showing no signs of slowing. The only difference, of course, is that the Colgate-SU game is always a home one for the Orange. The Bruins beating the Golden Bears will probably always be the most impressive one-sided series due to both teams getting a shot at their own digs.
And what streaks are active? Well, even though some of these teams haven't played for decades, the longest spells for one program over another are:
47: Syracuse vs. Colgate 1963 -2013
39: Marquette vs. Milwaukee 1917-2012
33: North Carolina vs. VMI 1922-1997
33: Syracuse vs. Cornell 1969-2011
30: Pittsburgh vs. Saint Francis (PA) 1973-2012
25: Kentucky vs. Xavier 1942-1968
24: Duke vs. Davidson 1982-2013
20: Duke vs. East Carolina 1969-1991
Gotta know why that Kentucky-Xavier series came to an end during The Beatles' heyday, and how the schools -- relatively close to each other -- haven't managed at least one game against each other since. And Marquette-Milwaukee is on ice for now.
Clemson, by the way, is notorious for having never won a game at North Carolina in the history of the series. The Tigers are O-fer dating back to the 1920s, having lost all 56 games in Chapel Hill. Clemson is 11-60 against UNC since 1979-80. The five longest winning streaks at home against one opponent:
56: North Carolina vs. Clemson 1926-2013†
52: Princeton vs. Brown 1929-2002
47: UCLA vs. Washington State 1950-2003
41: Kentucky vs. Mississippi 1929-1996
37: USC vs. UCLA 1932-1944
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