Greatest Winning Streaks in Sports History
Is there anything better in sports than a great streak? From winning streaks to losing streaks to hitting streaks, everyone is captivated and wants to see a streak continue or come to an end.
Of course, nothing beats winning. Games. Matches. Races. As teams or individuals. Winning streaks are the pinnacle of streaks and can happen in any and every sport imaginable.
These are the greatest winning streaks in sports history.
25. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh 112-Match Win Streak
Sport: Beach volleyball
Start of streak: Aug. 24, 2007, in Brooklyn, New York
End of streak: Aug. 31, 2008, in Cincinnati, Ohio
Bottom Line: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh 112-Match Win Streak
For over one calendar year, the most famous duo in beach volleyball went undefeated, winning 19 tournaments and 112 matches. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh started teaming up in 2001, and six years later, they were both in their primes and were like two peas in a pod on the sand court.
The last tournament they won together during this streak was the biggest tournament imaginable – the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was the duo's second of three straight Olympic gold medals.
However, there was a natural letdown afterward, and the streak ended during their first post-Olympics tournament.
24. Rafael Nadal’s 81-Match Win Streak on Clay Courts
Start of streak: April 11, 2005, at Monte Carlo Country Club (Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France)
End of streak: May 22, 2007, at Rothenbaum Tennis Center (Hamburg, Germany)
Bottom Line: Rafael Nadal’s 81-Match Win Streak on Clay Courts
Rafael Nadal’s nickname is "The King of Clay," so it's no surprise that he owns the longest clay-court winning streak of all time. But this streak doesn’t just stand out on clay. No other tennis player has a streak as long as Nadal’s on any surface. The next longest is Ivan Lendl winning 66 straight on indoor courts.
Oddly, though, Nadal’s streak came to an end against his biggest rival Roger Federer. Nadal and Federer have played 16 times on clay, and Nadal has won 14 of them.
But Federer’s first clay win ended Rafa’s record streak.
23. Houston Rockets Improbably Win 22 Straight
Start of streak: Jan. 29, 2008, at Toyota Center (Houston, Texas)
End of streak: March 18, 2008, at Toyota Center (Houston)
Bottom Line: Houston Rockets Improbably Win 22 Straight
When the Rockets won 22 straight games in 2008, it was the second-longest winning streak in NBA history at the time. It is now fourth, but the unlikeliness of it even happening is what gives it the edge over some of those longer streaks.
The team was just four games over .500 when it began, and the Rockets were the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. So they weren’t even considered a threat, and then they ended up losing their leading scorer and only All-Star, Yao Ming, midway through the streak.
Yet they kept rolling right along and were never seriously tested as just one of their 22 wins came by fewer than six points. When it was over, Houston had jumped from a No. 10 seed to the No. 1 seed and had the best record in the Western Conference.
They could not sustain that momentum and faded down the stretch, eventually losing to the Lakers in seven games in the conference semifinals.
22. Mount Union Football Sets an NCAA Record With 55 Consecutive Wins
Sport: College football
Start of streak: Sept. 2, 2000, at Frank B. Fuhrer Field (Meadville, Pennsylvania)
End of streak: Dec. 20, 2003, at Salem Football Stadium (Salem, Virginia)
Bottom Line: Mount Union Football Sets an NCAA Record With 55 Consecutive Wins
Mount Union is a Division III school located in Northeast Ohio, and its 55-game win streak is only a part of the school's college football records. That 55-game streak broke Mount Union's old record of 54 straight wins, which took place just prior to this newer streak starting.
Overall, the team won 110 straight regular-season games (which was a record) from 1994 to 2005, lost a game, and then won 112 straight regular-season games (which is a record) from 2005 to 2016.
Over the span of 22 years, the Purple Raiders went 222-1 in the regular season and won 11 Division III national championships during that span.
21. Bayern Munich Sets a Bundesliga Record With 19 Straight Victories
Start of streak: Oct. 19, 2013, at Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany)
End of streak: March 29, 2014, at Allianz Arena (Munich)
Bottom Line: Bayern Munich Sets a Bundesliga Record With 19 Straight Victories
Of the Big Four European soccer leagues — the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), the Bundesliga (Germany) and Serie A (Italy) — Bayern Munich’s 19-game winning streak stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Their 19 straight victories smashed the old Bundesliga record of 14 (which they had set the previous season), and it was part of a 53-game unbeaten streak that spanned two seasons and featured 46 wins and seven draws.
Only one of the 17 other teams in the Bundesliga had more than 19 wins in their entire season as Bayern breezed to a Bundesliga title.
20. Carl Hubbell Wins 24 Consecutive Pitching Decisions
Start of streak: July 17, 1936, at Forbes Field (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
End of streak: May 31, 1937, at the Polo Grounds (New York City, New York)
Bottom Line: Carl Hubbell Wins 24 Consecutive Pitching Decisions
For a pitcher to win 24 straight decisions like Carl Hubbell, you need a lot of luck along the way as you could throw a great game and still lose or pitch a horrible game and still win.
For example, in Hubbell’s last loss before the streak began he gave up just one earned run, but his team fell 1-0. However, during his streak, Hubbell had four games where he gave up at least four earned runs, but was never handed a loss in any of them.
Hubbell’s streak came to an end when he allowed five runs in 3.1 innings pitched, and that game started a new streak as he proceeded to then lose four straight decisions.
19. Khabib Nurmagomedov Destroys 28 Straight Opponents in the Octagon
Sport: Mixed martial arts
Start of streak: September 13, 2008 in Poltava, Ukraine
End of streak: Current streak
Bottom Line: Khabib Nurmagomedov Destroys 28 Straight Opponents in the Octagon
Khabib Nurmagomedov began his pro MMA career in 2008, and he fought in smaller promotions for three years. There he accumulated a 16-0 record before joining the UFC in 2011. He’s maintained perfection in the biggest MMA promotion in the world as he’s gone 13-0 and was the UFC lightweight champion when he retired in 2020.
Nurmagomedov’s wins were spread pretty evenly as 11 have been by submission, 10 by decision and eight by knockout.
His 13-match win streak in UFC is tied for the second-longest in the promotion’s history with Anderson Silva’s 16 wins being the record.
18. USA Basketball Wins 78 Straight in International Play
Start of streak: Sept. 2, 2006, at Saitama Super Arena (Saitama, Japan)
End of streak: Aug. 24, 2019, at Marvel Stadium (Melbourne, Australia)
Bottom Line: USA Basketball Wins 78 Straight in International Play
This is the most recent streak to end as USA Basketball fell to Australia in an exhibition before the 2019 FIBA World Cup. It ended a 78-game winning streak for Team USA in international tournament games or exhibitions that started with them winning the third-place game at the 2006 World Championships.
Team USA was led by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich while Australia’s Patty Mills, who plays for the Spurs in the NBA, led the way with 30 points for the Boomers in the upset.
Even though this was an exhibition before the World Cup, it also served as a bit of foreshadowing since Team USA lost twice during the tournament and finished in seventh place, their worst finish ever.
17. Richard Petty Gets the Checkered Flag 10 Races in a Row
Sport: Auto racing
Start of streak: Aug. 12, 1967, at Bowman Gray Stadium (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)
End of streak: Oct. 15, 1967, at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Concord, North Carolina)
Bottom Line: Richard Petty Gets the Checkered Flag 10 Races in a Row
Not only did "The King" win a record 10 straight races during the 1967 season, but he also won a record 27 races that year.
In addition to his 10-race streak, Petty had four other two-race win streaks and a three-race win streak. His streak came to an end at the National 500 in which he did not finish due to engine issues and ended in 18th place.
For his exploits during the 1967 season, Petty was named the Grand National Series Champion, which is now known as the NASCAR Cup Series.
16. Julio Cesar Chavez Achieves 87 Straight Wins in the Ring
Start of streak: Feb. 5, 1980, in Culiacán, Mexico
End of streak: Sept. 10, 1993, at the Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas)
Bottom Line: Julio Cesar Chavez Achieves 87 Straight Wins in the Ring
After just one year as an amateur boxer, Julio Cesar Chavez turned pro at 17 in 1980. He then began an aggressive boxing schedule that had him fight 34 times before he turned 20. He won all 34 of those fights and then kept winning, and winning, and winning.
Over 13 years into his career, Chavez had faced 87 opponents and defeated all 87 opponents for the longest win streak in boxing history. His win streak ended not on a loss but a draw to Pernell Whitaker.
Chavez didn't suffer his first defeat until fight No. 91 when he lost a split decision to Frankie Randall.
15. UConn Women’s Basketball Wins 111 Straight Games
Sport: College basketball
Start of streak: Nov. 23, 2014, in Gampel Pavilion (Storrs, Connecticut)
End of streak: March 31, 2017, in American Airlines Arena (Dallas, Texas)
Bottom Line: UConn Women’s Basketball Wins 111 Straight Games
The UConn Huskies women’s basketball team owns the longest winning streak in NCAA history – men or women.
Nearly as amazing as 111 straight wins is that UConn was rarely tested throughout the streak — 108 of the wins came by double-digits. Thirty-one of the wins came against ranked opponents, but a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament ended the run during the 2017 Final Four. Mississippi State beat UConn 66-64 in overtime with a buzzer-beater from Morgan William.
Afterward, UConn coach Geno Auriemma seemed surprised that his team didn’t lose sooner. "I'm just shocked that it took this long to get here," Auriemma said.
14. Cleveland Indians Win 22 Straight Games
Start of streak: Aug. 24, 2017, at Progressive Field (Cleveland, Ohio)
End of streak: Sept. 15, 2017, at Progressive Field (Cleveland)
Bottom Line: Cleveland Indians Win 22 Straight Games
The 1916 New York Giants have the longest unbeaten streak in MLB history (26 games), but the 2017 Indians own the longest winning streak in MLB history.
This wasn’t a unilateral streak where either the pitching staff or the Indians batters carried the team throughout. Both units excelled during the 22 games. Cleveland’s pitchers posted a 1.58 ERA during the streak while its hitters had a .937 OPS.
The Indians had a tendency of getting ahead of opponents early on and then staying ahead for the rest of the game since there weren’t many come-from-behind victories. Over the 199 innings the Indians played during the streak, they trailed for just eight of them.
13. Edwin Moses’ 122 Consecutive Race Wins on the 400-Meter Hurdles
Sport: Track and field
Start of streak: Sept. 2, 1977, in Dusseldorf, West Germany
End of streak: June 4, 1987, in Madrid Spain
Bottom Line: Edwin Moses’ 122 Consecutive Race Wins on the 400-Meter Hurdles
For a few weeks shy of a decade, Edwin Moses dusted the competition in the hurdles and broke his own world record twice.
In addition to his perfect technique, Moses had another advantage over most of his competitors — he was tall for a hurdler at six feet, two inches. That height allowed him to take fewer strides in between hurdles, and he consistently took 13 steps while most other hurdlers took 15 steps.
Even though Moses’ streak lasted for nearly 10 years, he only won one gold medal during the streak. He won gold at the 1976 Olympics, but that was before the streak began. Then, he was unable to compete in 1980 due to the boycott before winning gold in 1984.
12. San Francisco 49ers Are Road Warriors With 21 Straight Non-Home Game Wins
Start of streak: Nov. 27, 1988, at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego, California)
End of streak: Sept. 2, 1991, at Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
Bottom Line: San Francisco 49ers Are Road Warriors With 21 Straight Non-Home Game Wins
The longest home game winning streak in NFL history is 25 games by the Packers from 1995 to 1998, but winning on the road is so much more difficult that the Niners get the edge despite a shorter streak.
San Francisco won 19 road games plus two neutral-site games (Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV) for their 21 victories. That’s roughly twice as many as the teams with the next most as three different teams are tied for second with 11 consecutive non-home game wins.
The 49ers' streak came to an end with a loss to the New York Giants in Week 1 of the 1991 season, after the Giants also knocked the Niners out of the playoffs the previous season.
11. Atlanta Braves Clinch 14 Straight Division Titles
Start of streak: Oct. 6, 1991, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)
End of streak: Oct. 1, 2006, at Turner Field (Atlanta)
Bottom Line: Atlanta Braves Clinch 14 Straight Division Titles
Not only is the Braves' streak of 14 division titles the longest in MLB history (the next most is nine), but it is the longest in sports history. Powered by Hall of Famers Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones, the Braves won the NL West from 1991 to 1993 and the NL East from 1995 to 2005.
However, you may notice that 1994 is not included in those years, and many think this streak deserves an asterisk because of it. That was the strike-shortened season, and there was no divisional winner crowned, which enabled the Braves to continue their streak.
But the Braves were second in their division that year and six games behind the division-leading Expos, who had the best record in baseball. We’ll never know if the Braves would have caught Montreal in the standings, but it’s a moot discussion at this point, and the Braves' streak still stands.
10. Byron Nelson Wins 11 Consecutive PGA Tournaments
Start of streak: March 19, 1945 at Charlotte Open (Charlotte, North Carolina)
End of streak: August 19, 1945 at Memphis (Memphis, Tennessee)
Bottom Line: Byron Nelson Wins 11 Consecutive PGA Tournaments
Byron Nelson’s 11 straight PGA Tour wins is not only deserving to be on this list, but it should also be on the list of "Sports Records That Will Never Be Broken."
1945 was a magical season for Nelson. In addition to his 11 straight wins, he won seven other tournaments for a total of 18 wins out of the 30 tournaments he played in. His average margin of victory during the streak was nearly seven shots, and none of the 11 wins came by just one stroke.
There was one major during the streak (and it was the only major of the year due to World War II). That was the PGA Championship. It was a match play tournament, and Nelson defeated Sam Byrd 4 and 3 for the last of his five major championships.
9. New England Patriots Claim Super Bowl XXXVIII As Part of Their 21 Straight Wins
Start of streak: Oct. 5, 2003, at Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
End of streak: Oct. 31, 2004, at Heinz Field (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Bottom Line: New England Patriots Claim Super Bowl XXXVIII As Part of Their 21 Straight Wins
For over a calendar year, no one was able to knock off the Patriots, and they won 12 straight regular-season games in 2003, three postseason games and then six more regular-season games in 2004.
The streak was nearly a perfect mix of blowouts and close games — 12 games were decided by nine-plus points, and 11 games were one-score games. The streak came to an end against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were led by rookie Ben Roethlisberger and this loss marked the first time that Bill Belichick was defeated by a rookie quarterback.
However, the Patriots got revenge over the Steelers, going into Pittsburgh and knocking off the 15-1 Steelers in the AFC championship en route to another Super Bowl victory.
8. Los Angeles Lakers Win 33 Consecutive Games
Start of streak: Nov. 5, 1971, at The Forum (Los Angeles, California)
End of streak: Jan. 9, 1972, at Milwaukee Arena (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Bottom Line: Los Angeles Lakers Win 33 Consecutive Games
Led by Hall of Famers Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich, the 1971-72 Lakers were NBA rock stars thanks to their record streak. They ran roughshod over the rest of the league for 33 games with 23 of their victories being by double-digits.
The Milwaukee Bucks, courtesy of 39 points and 20 rebounds from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, finally ended the streak, and the Bucks of the previous season had the prior record for the longest single-season winning streak (20 games).
The Lakers’ next longest streak of this season was just eight games, but they ended the season with an NBA championship.
7. Cael Sanderson Gets His Hand Raised After 159 Straight Matches
Sport: College Wrestling
Start of streak: 1998
End of streak: 2002 (graduated)
Bottom Line: Cael Sanderson Gets His Hand Raised After 159 Straight Matches
The only thing that could end Cael Sanderson’s record win streak was getting his diploma because no one on the mat dethroned him. He went 39-0 as a freshman and then 40-0 in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons for a perfect 159-0 record.
Along the way, he won four NCAA championships and was a four-time NCAA outstanding wrestler. Sanderson’s accomplishments were so noteworthy that he became the first wrestler in nearly 15 years to be featured on the cover of a Wheaties box.
Once Sanderson’s amateur career ended, his success on the mat didn’t end as he won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
6. United States Owns America’s Cup for 132 years
Start of streak: 1851
End of streak: 1983
Bottom Line: United States Owns America’s Cup for 132 years
America’s Cup is the trophy awarded to the victor of sailing races between two yachts. It is the oldest international sports trophy and was first awarded in 1851. To say that the United States has owned the Cup would be an understatement.
The U.S. won each of the first 25 Cups which are usually defended every three or four years with the longest break coming 21 years in between races. But in 1983, Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand who was a 1976 Olympic medalist, toppled the United States to end the longest winning streak in sports history.
The New York Yacht Club, which lost the Cup after winning the first 25 match races, has never challenged again for the Cup in the 10 match races since then.
5. Oklahoma Sooners Football Team Wins 47 Straight Games
Sport: College football
Start of streak: Oct. 10, 1953, at the Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas)
End of streak: Nov. 16, 1957, at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, Oklahoma)
Bottom Line: Oklahoma Sooners Football Team Wins 47 Straight Games
Under Hall of Fame coach Bud Wilkinson, no one could topple the Oklahoma Sooners over the span of four calendar years. During their streak, they defeated 11 ranked teams and recorded an astonishing 22 shutouts.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the streak is that OU dropped to No. 2 in the rankings even when they had reached 43 wins in a row in 1957. The streak came to an end against Notre Dame, which was also the last team to beat the Sooners before the streak began in 1953.
The Fighting Irish also were the team that later ended the longest NCAA basketball winning streak of all time, UCLA’s 88-game streak in the 1970s.
4. De La Salle High School Football Team Wins 151 Consecutive Games
Sport: High school football
Start of streak: Sept. 11, 1992, in California
End of streak: Sept. 4, 2004, at Bellevue High School (Bellevue, Washington)
Bottom Line: De La Salle High School Football Team Wins 151 Consecutive Games
It’s one thing when a high school racks up wins against lesser competition and smaller schools, but it’s another when you win 151 straight games playing in California’s largest division.
De La Salle High, located in the Bay Area, went undefeated for 12 years and more than doubled the previous high school record of 72 straight wins. They were named national champions seven times during the streak and often took on challengers from all across the United States in addition to their divisional schedule.
In 2014, the record streak was adapted into a film, "When the Game Stands Tall." The movie chronicled the streak and its end when De La Salle lost to Bellevue High School, a team from Washington.
3. Jahangir Khan Squashes Opponents in 555 Straight Matches
Start of streak: 1981
End of streak: 1986
Bottom Line: Jahangir Khan Squashes Opponents in 555 Straight Matches
The answer to the trivia question of "what’s the longest winning streak in sports history" can be found in the world of squash. Jahangir Khan’s 555 consecutive victories are the longest streak based on wins, and it came to an end in the 1986 World Open, which Khan had won each of the previous five years.
The World Open and the British Open are considered the most prestigious squash tournaments, and Khan also won the latter five years in a row during his streak.
Even after the streak ended, he went on to win another five straight British Opens for a total of 10 straight from 1982 to 1991.
2. Rocky Marciano Retires Undefeated at 49-0
Start of streak: March 17, 1947, at Valley Arena Gardens (Holyoke, Massachusetts)
End of streak: April 26, 1956 (retired)
Bottom Line: Rocky Marciano Retires Undefeated at 49-0
Some winning streaks end in grandiose fashion and some winning streaks never end. That was the case with Rocky Marciano. He is the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated and was only knocked down twice in his professional career.
The first of those knockdowns was in a fight against Jersey Joe Walcott that Marciano won to become heavyweight champion. The last of those was in Marciano’s final bout against Archie Moore.
There have been 15 undefeated boxing world champions, but Marciano is the only one of those who was a heavyweight. Thus, he gets the edge over Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Ward and others who also retired undefeated.
1. UCLA Basketball Wins Seven Straight National Championships
Sport: College basketball
Start of streak: March 25, 1967, at Freedom Hall (Louisville, Kentucky)
End of streak: March 23, 1974, at Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Bottom Line: UCLA Basketball Wins Seven Straight National Championships
While the Bruins' NCAA record of 88 straight wins is impressive, this title-winning streak gets the nod because of the sheer length of their dominance. This also gets the edge over the Boston Celtics' eight straight titles due to the single-elimination format of the NCAA tournament.
The Bruins' wins streak featured some of the same players throughout it, but the title streak featured several turnovers on the Bruins roster. Lew Alcindor was a sophomore when it began in 1967 and was in his fifth NBA season (and then known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) when it ended.
North Carolina State ended the streak by defeating UCLA in the Final Four, but UCLA bounced back the following season by winning another national championship in John Wooden’s final season.