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Today in Sports History: 1/19 | UCLA Bruins’ 88-Game Win Streak Snapped

Today in sports history (1974) the longest win streak in college basketball history was snapped. John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins teams in the 1960’s and 1970’s are one of the greatest dynasties in sports. The win streak started in 1971 and lasted 88 games. Over the win streak, the Bruins’ won three national championships to move their total to nine. They have added two more since, bringing them to a grand total to 11.

ucla win streak today in sports history
Credit: Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Notre Dame Outlast UCLA to Complete the Upset | College Basketball History

UCLA came into this game ranked as the number one team in the country. Notre Dame was the second-ranked team in the country. Both teams were undefeated. The Bruins’ last loss had come at the hands of the Fighting Irish, almost three years prior. Bruins’ superstar Bill Walton had hurt his back in their previous game, but he was still able to play against Notre Dame.

Walton finished the game with 24 points and nine rebounds in 40 minutes. UCLA had an 11-point lead with just under four minutes remaining. The Fighting Irish blanked the Bruins for the remaining time, going on a 12-0 run to win the game, 71-70.

John Shumate, Gary Brokaw and Dwight Clay led the way for Notre Dame, as Walton missed the game-winning shot in the waning seconds. Close to 12,000 fans rushed the court in South Bend to celebrate the Fighting Irish’s victory. This win vaulted Notre Dame to the top-ranking in the country. However, UCLA got its revenge a week later, as they regained the number one ranking. UCLA went on to win the championship, but this loss will be the most remembered game of their season.

The closest school to reach UCLA’s 88-game win streak was UNLV in the late 80’s and early 90’s, winning 45 in a row. It is safe to say that Wooden, Walton and UCLA’s streak will not be touched for many years.

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