South Carolina tops women’s AP Top 25; Stanford, UConn next
South Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 choice in The Associated Press women’s poll, as the Gamecocks keep close watch on the foot injury of reigning Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.
The Gamecocks received all 29 first-place votes in the poll, a day after Boston left a game with her injury. Coach Dawn Staley said Boston was “questionable” going forward but added that the “team doctor wasn’t too, too concerned.”
South Carolina’s next game is at home against No. 15 UCLA.
Stanford remained No. 2 after cruising through a tournament in Hawaii. It’s the 618th appearance for Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer, tying the late Pat Summitt for most all-time. Summitt’s teams only missed being in the poll 14 times during her Hall of Fame career at Tennessee.
UConn, Ohio State and Indiana rounded out the top five.
The Huskies are one of four Big East teams to be ranked this week as Marquette entered the poll at No. 24. It’s the first time the Big East has four ranked teams since the conference realigned in 2014. The league is 56-14 so far this season, including going 8-2 against ranked teams.
“We’ve been trying to earn a little more respect,” Marquette coach Megan Duffy said of the Big East. “Tried to schedule tougher non-conference (games). ‘Nova’s playing people. Us going to the Bahamas was great. Creighton’s doing what they’ve been doing since last season. Getting some of those quality wins is everything.”
North Carolina moved up two spots to No. 6 after rallying to beat then-No. 5 Iowa State in the Phil Knight tournament. The Cyclones fell to eighth.
The Tar Heels visit the Hoosiers on Tuesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Indiana returns home after winning two games in Las Vegas at a subpar venue that lacked basic necessities.
Notre Dame remained No. 7 while Virginia Tech and Iowa finished off the top 10. At No. 9, Virginia Tech has matched its best ranking ever and is in the top 10 for the first time since 1999.
Tennessee fell out of the poll this week marking the 56th time in the 827-week history of the poll that the Lady Vols weren’t ranked. Kansas State also fell out with Gonzaga moving in at No. 23.
Louisville dropped to 18th in the poll this week after falling to South Dakota State in the fifth place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis last week. It’s the Cardinals lowest ranking since Jan. 11, 2016.
Louisville entered the top 10 in the preseason poll in 2017 and hadn’t been out since, a span of 98 consecutive weeks. It was the longest active streak.
“It’s a compliment to the consistency that we built here,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said of being ranked in the top 10 for so long. “Obviously are goal would have been to stay in the top 10, but it’s a new team and growing.”