It's off the radar of most fans, but did you know that St. Thomas brings four exceptional current win streaks into the 2018 calendar year?
The four victory streaks -- two in women's hoops, and one each in football and men's soccer -- rank in the top five among all NCAA schools in their sports.
Coach Ruth Sinn's Tommie women have recorded 38 consecutive basketball wins against MIAC opponents since a January 2016 home loss to Bethel.
Only three other teams -- out of more than 2,000 that compete in NCAA women's or men's basketball -- have a longer current victory streak in conference play.
In road play, St. Thomas' current victory streak of 22 ranks third behind only mighty U Conn and defending Division III champion Amherst.
UST's last loss on an opponent's court was in December 2015 at St. Catherine. UST has won 47 of its last 49 road games in all. One of the two defeats was at Thomas More in the 2016 national playoff quarterfinals. Thomas More later won the NCAA title but vacated all of its wins that season for using an elite player later ruled ineligible.
The Tommies are 56-4 since mid-January 2016.
Sinn's 2017-18 team is off to a 9-2 overall start (4-0 MIAC), and will put both win streaks on the line in January. The Tommies, who share the MIAC lead with St. Ben's at 4-0, have upcoming road tests at Concordia, Bethel and St. Ben's, plus a Jan. 24 home game against ranked Gustavus. The Toms are home this week to face Macalester and Carleton.
Longest Current Conference Win Streak/NCAA Basketball (2,207 teams)
119, Thomas More Women (D-III)
98, U. Conn Women (D-I)
58, UW-Superior Women (D-III)
38, St. Thomas Women (D-III)
32, Ashland Women (D-II)
27, Belmont Women (D-II)
24, Ohio Northern Women (D-III)
Longest Current Road Win Streaks/NCAA Basketball (2,207 teams)
41, U Conn Women (D-I)
29, Amherst Women (D-III)
22, St. Thomas Women (D-III)
22, Whitman Men (D-III)
20, Ashland Women (D-II)
19, Ohio Northern Women (D-III)
13, Lincoln Memorial Men (D-II)
Fall Sport Streaks
Tommie Football (28) and Men's Soccer (15) have also built impressive conference win streaks in the last few seasons.
Coach Glenn Caruso's Tommies have tied an record for consecutive wins against MIAC opponents at 28 since an October 2014 loss at Bethel. (St. John's also won 28 in a row from 2000-2004.) Only two others in NCAA football have a longer current victory streak against conference opponents.
UST will open its 2018 conference season next fall at home against Carleton, then play the following weekend at St. John's. Caruso's Tommies built a 27-game MIAC regular-season win streak from 2009-2012.
St. Thomas Football has won 32 of its last 33 regular-season games, and 26 of its last 27 home games. It reached the 2015 NCAA championship game as well as the NCAA quarterfinal playoff round in both 2016 and 2017.
32, Jacksonville State (FCS)
30, Shepherd (D-II)
28, St. Thomas (D-III)
27, Ohio Dominican (D-II)
24, Linfield (D-III)
21, San Diego (FCS)
20, Mary Hardin-Baylor (D-III)
20, James Madison (FCS)
In men's soccer, Coach Jon Lowery's Tommies have posted 15 victories in a row against MIAC opponents since losing 2-0 to Augsburg at home in 2016. Only one other men's team in NCAA soccer has a longer current conference victory streak.
The Toms went 22-1-2 against MIAC teams over the last two seasons, en route to appearances in the national playoff semifinals (2016) and national quarterfinals (2017). That includes 10 road wins in a row against MIAC foes.
18, Lehman Men (D-III)
15, St. Thomas Men (D-III)
14, Trinity (Tex.) (D-III)
14, North Carolina Wesleyan (D-III)
13, Penn State Abingdon (D-III)
11, St. Joseph's (Maine) (D-III)
11, Otterbein (D-III)
10, Colorado School of Mines (D-II)
10, Castleton (D-III)
Gene's Blog is a sports column penned by UST sports information director Gene McGivern. Gene is working his 24th season at St. Thomas and 30th overall in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He blogs periodically on various topics regarding the Tommies, the MIAC and Division III sports.
If you have comments or questions, e-mail Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org