Ranking the greatest team winning streaks of all-time

With the Heat having won 25 straight games, we take a look back at sports' greatest team win streaks.
By John Rohde Published: March 23, 2013
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Ranking the greatest team winning streaks is a losing proposition.

There are many variables, particularly when comparing sports.

What's more impressive?

The streak's actual number, or how long it took to achieve it?

Is it more impressive to be an NBA team that goes undefeated for two full months, or a college football team that goes unbeaten for four seasons?

The competitive quality found in fewer teams, or the parity found in more teams?

Is it more challenging to have a winning streak against the NHL's Original Six, for example, or to build a streak against the 30-team league of today when your team is clearly not as talented?

Old rules/equipment, or new rules/equipment?

The evolution of rules and equipment has made football more offense oriented, basketball more defense oriented, and baseball more drug oriented.

Travel demands back then, or travel demands now?

What were once long road venture often are chopped into a series of trips played in the same time span. Today's charter flights no doubt are convenient, but traveling by planes, trains and automobiles was much simpler in the past.

Yesterday's era, or today's era?

The endless debate: How would past players perform if they had the advantages of today? How would today's players perform if they had the challenges of the past?

Ranking a team winning streak within the same sports is simple. That's comparing apples to apples.

In the midst of the Miami Heat's 25-game winning streak, we have attempted to compare apples to oranges and rank the greatest team winning streaks of all-time in any sport.

TEAM; SPORT; WHEN; STREAK

1. Los Angeles Lakers; NBA; 1971-72; 33

The NBA consisted of just 17 teams when the Lakers put together their historic run. After a modest 6-3 start to the season, the Lakers didn't lose in November or December and went on to assemble the second-best record in NBA history at 69-13 en route to the title.

2. Oklahoma; college football; 1953-57; 47

This streak assembled by coach Bud Wilkinson's mighty Sooners might never be broken at the Division I level. OU never lost from Oct. 10, 1953, through Nov. 9, 1957. The streak spanned five seasons — longer than a player's collegiate career — and included 23 shutouts.

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