Stephen A. Smith: UConn the 'Michael Jordans of College Basketball'

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The UConn Huskies won the NCAA title on Monday night, making them the first school to win back-to-back championships since the Florida Gators did it in 2007 and 2008. This was also UConn's sixth title overall, which ties them with North Carolina for the third-most in NCAA history. And that's why Stephen A. Smith says, "they're the Michael Jordans of college basketball."

"They're the Michael Jordans of college basketball. Why? Because in their six national titles: 1999, 2004, 2011, 2014, and obviously back-to-back this year. They're six-and-oh in national championship games. That would make them the Michael Jordans of college basketball."

Let me just say this is a thrilling new variation of the "Michael Jordan of" genre. In the past we've only called individuals the Michael Jordan of something. But now, using the magical 6-0 mark, we can call teams the Michael Jordan of whatever. You have a water polo team that went 6-0 in league championships? You must be talking about the Michael Jordans of water polo.

But does it really make any sense in this case? Of the six UConn teams to win titles, do they have anything in common besides their uniforms? Aside from this team that went back-to-back, not really. Jim Calhoun won three titles at UConn with three different rosters. Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey won as freshmen under Calhoun and then again as a seniors under Kevin Ollie. Other than that the only common thread is... the threads.

Dan Hurley has no connection to the Jim Calhoun era. He may have rebuilt a college basketball powerhouse in Storrs, but that just makes it more likely UConn will put a blemish on their perfect record and lose the status of the Michael Jordans of college basketball. It's actually good that UConn has only been to six title games. Better than UCLA, Kentucky and North Carolina, who have all been to 12.

Then there's Final Four appearances, of which UConn has seven. In 2009 they lost to Michigan State in the semifinal. If UConn had won that game, but lost to North Carolina in the title game, then the wouldn't be the Michael Jordans of college basketball because now they'd be 6-1, which isn't much more impressive than Michigan State and Ohio State who are both 5-1 in national championship games.

Even though UConn has more titles in the last two seasons than most schools do in their history, they still only have the 10th-most Final Four appearances. And in college basketball we celebrate teams making the Final Four. North Carolina, where Michael Jordan actually went to school and won a championship, has three times as many Final Four appearances as UConn. But since the Tar Heels are only 6-6 in title games, they're out of the running for Michael Jordans of college basketball.

In fact, any school that has ever lost a single national championship game cannot be GOATed as the Michael Jordans of college basketball. Sorry UCLA. Guess you shouldn't have lost that one game to Florida in '06. Larry Brown tried to do you a favor by having the '79-'80 season vacated. Those 10 titles in 12 years were nice, but not quite "Michael Jordan of" material.

The thing is, UConn is now screwed. If they win a third straight title next season, like the Michael Jordan of Michael Jordans did twice, they'd be 7-0, which is actually better than Michael Jordan, which makes no sense. They're better off missing the tournament altogether or losing in the first round in an embarrassing upset to one of those little schools no one has ever heard of because losing in the title game would be a disaster and they don't want to end up the LeBron James of college basketball.