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Monday, December 6, 2010
Caltech breaks another brutal losing streak

By Eamonn Brennan

It pales in comparison to losing streaks of Caltech's recent past, but still, three cheers for Caltech all the same. After 44 games and nearly two years of waiting, the Beavers finally got a win.

On Saturday afternoon, Division III Caltech beat American Sports University 74-67 in the seventh-place game of University of Redlands Fulmer Tournament. Yes, there is apparently a school named "American Sports University"; no, it's apparently not a complex joke about sports' place in the current academic landscape. Who knew?

Anyway, the win was Caltech's first since Jan. 5, 2009. Since then, the Beavers, almost all of whom are less "college basketball players" than "really smart kids who decided to play basketball as they pursue their incredibly impressive educational trajectory" had lost 44 straight games. (Caltech, for those of you that don't know, is the California Institute of Technology, which to this day manages NASA's Jet Propulsion lab and, according to Wikipedia, boasts the following: "31 Caltech alumni and faculty have won the Nobel Prize, 67 have won the National Medal of Science or Technology, and 110 have been elected to the National Academies." Caltech kids are smart.)

Forty-four games is a rough patch, to be sure, but it pales in comparison to Caltech's previous streak, a -- get this -- 207-game D-III losing streak that spanned 11 years (1996-2007) and featured a losing streak longer than the current one even with non-Division III opponents factored in.

The lesson here? It could always be worse. Words to invent rockets by, and all that.