The Connecticut women are at it again, going 30-0 in the regular season and striving to become the first women's team since Texas in 1986 to enjoy a perfect season. Here are some other teams over the past 36 years that have pursued and, in most cases, achieved perfection in their championship game.<br><br>Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 of 13Al Tielemans/SI
New England Patriots
The Patriots were the first 18-0 team in NFL history and the first since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to enter the Super Bowl with perfection on the line. Their dream season came to a screeching halt as the New York Giants won 17-14.
3 of 13Neil Leifer/SI
Miami Dolphins (17-0)
After running the regular-season table, the Dolphins survived hard-fought playoff showdowns with Cleveland and Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl VII. Motivation proved little concern going into the championship showdown against the Redskins, with Vegas actually installing the Dolphins as two-point underdogs. Miami sprinted out to a 14-0 halftime lead on Super Sunday, survived some fourth-quarter special teams turbulence and held on for a 14-7 result.
4 of 13Rich Clarkson/SI
The Bruins returned just one starter -- senior guard Henry Bibby -- from the program's sixth national championship squad in seven years. But freshman team imports Bill Walton, Keith Wilkes and Greg Lee proved capable reinforcements as UCLA set the NCAA single-season record for margin of victory (30.3 points) and entered the '72 title game with a 29-0 mark. The Bruins sprinted to an early lead against Florida State and withstood a second-half rally to hold on for an 81-76 triumph and their seventh championship.
5 of 13Sheedy & Long, Eric Schweikardt, Heinz Kluetmeier, Rich Clarkson
Incredibly, UCLA continued to extend a winning streak dating to January 1971 -- and brought a 29-0 record into a national championship meeting with Memphis State. There, Walton posted one of the great single-game performances in the annals of college sports, putting down 21 of his 22 attempts from the field for a game-high 44 points. The Bruins roared past the overmatched Tigers, 87-66, to bring home their unparalleled eighth national title in nine seasons.
6 of 13James Drake/SI
One year earlier, Indiana had taken a 31-0 record into the Elite Eight but suffered a two-point heartbreaker at the hands of Kentucky. This time around, Kent Benson made sure the Hoosiers finished the job. The Indiana native combined with Scott May for 51 points as the Bloomington school rolled past Big Ten rival Michigan, 86-68, for its first national championship since 1953.
7 of 13Rich Clarkson/SI
Indiana State (33-1)
The Boston Celtics had drafted Indiana State sensation Larry Bird with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, but the versatile forward insisted on returning for his senior season and earning his degree before turning pro. The Hick from French Lick spirited the Terre Haute school to 33 straight victories, carrying the Missouri Valley champs to their first and only national title game. But Bird missed 14 of his 21 shots in his final collegiate contest, struggling mightily against future foil Magic Johnson in a 75-64 defeat.
8 of 13AP
Texas women's basketball (34-0)
Credit a freshman reserve for preserving the first perfect season in women's college basketball history. Under the steady leadership of Jody Conradt, the Longhorns carried a 33-game winning streak into a national title game meeting with two-time champion Southern Cal. The Longhorns went blow-for-blow with the Trojans -- but first-year guard Clarissa Davis contributed 24 points off the bench to put the wraps on a decisive 97-81 victory. For her efforts, Davis garnered Most Outstanding Player honors.
9 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
With Jennifer Rizzotti running the point and Kara Wolters and Rebecca Lobo manning the post, the Huskies won their first 34 contests -- including a convincing January victory over then-No. 1 Tennessee. With a title game rematch with the Vols generating unprecedented interest in the women's game, the Huskies rose to the occasion. Lobo overcame a foul-plagued first half and the Big East champs fought back from a nine-point deficit down the stretch to score a 70-64 victory -- and the program's first of five national championships.
10 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
The Volunteers entered the national championship contest with 38 straight victories -- and extinguished Louisiana Tech's upset hopes in the opening stages of the title game. Tennessee sprinted to a double-digit lead in the first five minutes and coasted to a 93-75 victory over the Bulldogs. Chamique Holdsclaw poured in 25 points and brought down 10 rebounds to earn the Most Outstanding Player trophy.
11 of 13Bill Frakes/SI
All-America point guard Sue Bird ran the show for a Connecticut team replete with frontcourt stars (Swin Cash, Ashja Jones, Tamika Williams) and an emerging sophomore guard named Diana Taurasi. The Huskies won their first 38 contests -- including a Final Four showdown with Tennessee -- to advance to the national title game. Cash mauled the Oklahoma frontcourt in the final, tallying 20 points and 13 rebounds to punctuate Connecticut's second perfect season.
12 of 13Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Arsenal F.C. (26-0-12)
No English club had gone through a season in the top division unbeaten since Preston North End in 1889. But 115 years later, an Arsenal side featuring Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira did just that. With the league title already in hand -- but their pristine 25-0-12 record on the line -- the Gunners slipped into a 1-0 hole against Leicester City on the final day of the season to the chagrin of their Highbury faithful. But Henry equalized on a penalty kick and team captain Vieira struck home a game-winner in the 66th minute, securing a 2-1 victory that helped "The Invincibles" live up to their hyperbolic but appropriate nickname.
13 of 13SI
College football's undefeated national champs, 1972-present
Perfection is practically a prerequisite for college football's Division I national champion, thanks to a relatively short regular season and absence of a traditional playoff format. Twenty-four of the last 36 champs have finished undefeated (pictured at left, listed below) -- with dozens of others having entered bowl season with a perfect record and realistic shot at the title. Until university administrators dump the current system -- as discussed at the recent NCAA convention -- college football will remain the lone mainstream sport where a ''perfect'' team can finish second.<br><br> (From top left: 1972 USC, 1973 Notre Dame, 1974 Oklahoma, 1976 Pittsburgh, 1979 Alabama, 1980 Georgia, 1981 Clemson, 1984 BYU, 1986 Penn State, 1987 Miami, 1988 Notre Dame, 1991 Miami, 1992 Alabama, 1994 Nebraska, 1995 Nebraska, 1997 Michigan, 1998 Tennessee, 1999 Florida State, 2000 Oklahoma, 2001 Miami, 2002 Ohio State, 2004 USC, 2005 Texas.)
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