If you haven’t heard by now, Kirkwood’s women’s basketball team lost to DMACC in the regional tournament in Boone last night. The loss ends Kirkwood’s season and doesn’t allow them to reach the National Tournament. It also "dropped" Coach Muhl's record against DMACC to 44-2 all time. The title “Yes, that just happened” isn’t referring to the loss, but rather the unbelievable run that Kirkwood has just finished. This isn’t a look at what went wrong yesterday, it’s a look at what had gone right for the past decade.
The following examples will put this into perspective. The last time Kirkwood did not win their Regional Tournament and make the National Tournament:
- I was still in high school. This was before my eight majors in college, and six years before I even met my wife.
- Nobody owned an iPod (or ever even heard of such a thing). It hadn’t been invented yet.
- The number one song on the Billboard Top 100 was “Stutter” by Joe feat Mystikal. I had to YouTube the song to even know what it was because I couldn’t remember it.
- Speaking of YouTube – The first YouTube video was still four years away.
- Facebook? Nobody had ever heard of it. It was still three years away.
- The price of gas was just $1.52 a gallon (and we thought that was high –it went back down to $1.19 later that year – what we considered “normal”).
- George Bush had just been inaugurated and was two months into his FIRST term as President of the United States.
- The World Trade Center Towers were still standing.
- NINE members from this year’s team were still in third grade.
So what has Kirkwood accomplished during that span? Here are a few stats:
- They won NINE consecutive Regional Championships!
- They won FIVE National Championships, including the past FOUR!
- They made it to the Final Four NINE consecutive times! (The statistical odds of it happening even 6 years in a row is 1 in 1.2 Trillion. Sadly my calculator couldn’t figure the odd of it happening the full 9 years in a row).
- They had conference winning streaks of 106 and 76 games!
- During one span, they won 183 of 184 conference games!
- During a FIVE Season stretch, they had a 29 game post-season winning streak!
- (All six of these statistics to my knowledge are NJCAA Records)
- 49 Kirkwood players have transferred to continue their basketball careers at four year schools. 30 of those were to NCAA Division I schools.
The title of this blog is “Yes, that just happened.” Again, I’m not talking about the recent loss, I’m talking about the run of 320 wins, a Head Coach getting selected as the first active coach to ever be selected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and a magical run that nobody will likely ever come close to. (I say “likely” rather than “ever” because I wouldn’t be shocked to see Kirkwood do it again.)
So this blog started by talking about the things that happened (or hadn’t yet happened) the last time Kirkwood didn’t make the National Tournament. So what happens next? We’ll, after not making the tournament in 2001, they came back in the next season going 33-3 and winning their second NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Let’s hope history can repeat itself again.