ICYMI: 2016 wraps up the same as it began, UConn on top

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NEW YORK (AP) It's time to put a wrap on 2016.

The year ended the same way it began with UConn winning - and winning, and winning. The Huskies have won 88 consecutive games, two short of their own record.

Talk about a good year, coach Geno Auriemma went 51-0, including winning 12 games while coaching the U.S. women's Olympic team to its sixth straight gold medal in Rio.

Even Auriemma, who never seems to care about streaks and records, was amused when he was made aware of his undefeated mark during the calendar year.

''You don't think about it as it's happening, but yeah that's kinda cool,'' he said after his top-ranked team beat No. 4 Maryland 87-81 on Thursday night.

During its current winning streak, the Huskies also set an NCAA road winning streak record with their 31st straight victory away from home Sunday.

Other things that happened this week:

POLL MUSINGS: There should be a major shake-up in the Top 25 after 10 ranked teams lost at least one game. Also, four of the top five teams in the receiving votes group also lost. If Kentucky ends up falling out, the Wildcats streak of 131 consecutive weeks ranked would end. That's the fifth longest active streak and seventh longest ever.

ALL-ACCESS PASS: Viewers were treated to something new in Seton Hall's win over St. John's on Friday night. The Big East and Fox Sports offered a commercial-free telecast that had both coaches wearing microphones for the entire game. It gave an all-access look at both teams, the first time there was so much unfiltered access for a major live sporting event.

PAT SUMMITT AWARD: ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe and Appalachian State women's basketball coach Angel Elderkin are co-recipients of the USBWA Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award. Rowe has also been battling cancer this year. She had surgery in February to remove a cancerous tumor in her chest and a malignant tumor under her right arm.

SCARY MOMENT: Suzy Merchant fainted while coaching Michigan State against Illinois on Sunday. The 47-year-old Merchant was evaluated by the school's medical staff on the court during the fourth quarter before walking to the locker room. She was later taken to a hospital for tests and was expected to be kept overnight as a precaution. Michigan State beat the Illini 74-47 in its Big Ten opener, improving to 11-3 overall. Merchant is in her 10th season at Michigan State and has a 215-99 record.

HONORING RACHEL: Minnesota retired former star Rachel Banham's jersey on Sunday. She finished her career as the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer with 3,093 points. Banham played for Minnesota from 2011-16 and tied an NCAA record with a 60-point game Feb. 8, 2016, at Northwestern. Banham, the No. 4 pick in the 2016 WNBA draft, holds Gophers records with 914 points in a season, 1,081 career field goals, 354 career 3-pointers and 577 career free throws.

HONORING ELIZABETH: Duke retired former star Elizabeth Williams' No. 1 jersey on Thursday at halftime of a 69-54 win over No. 17 Kentucky. Williams is the third player in the history of the women's program to have her number retired, joining Alana Beard's No. 20 and Lindsey Harding's No. 10 in the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

''It's really hard to describe'' the emotions, Williams said. ''It was kind of a combination of excitement, gratitude and humbleness. I was really humbled by this whole thing and to finally see it. It was really incredible.''

She's the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history selected to four AP All-America teams and she's also the league's first player with more than 1,900 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 blocked shots during her career.


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