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NCAAW AP Top 25: South Carolina the new No. 1 after UConn, Oregon, Oregon State fall in chaotic week

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has the Gamecocks back in the top spot. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has the Gamecocks back in the top spot. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

It was a fun, wild week in women’s college basketball and the latest Associated Press top 25 rankings reflect it. South Carolina moved into the top spot after the three teams ahead of the Gamecocks lost in a span of four days. They received 20 of 30 first-place votes.

It’s the fourth team to take the No. 1 spot this season, joining Oregon (four weeks), Stanford (three weeks) and UConn (three weeks). It’s the third time since the poll became a writers’ poll in 1994-95 there have been four different top-ranked teams, per the Associated Press. There has never been five.

South Carolina defeated No. 21 Arkansas and Vanderbilt this week and is No. 1 for the first time since Feb. 9, 2015.

Former No. 1 UConn lost to No. 6 Baylor in a statement match-up Thursday, dropping the Huskies to No. 4 in the poll while the Bears bounced up to No. 2 with seven first-place votes.

Stanford moved into No. 3 and Louisville into No. 5 to round out the top spots. Then it’s Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, N.C. State and Mississippi State.

Arizona State, which single-handedly forced the upheaval at the top by upsetting both Oregon schools, went from receiving votes to No. 18. Iowa entered at No. 22 with two wins over ranked opponents. And Princeton dropped out a week after entering.

Wild weekend in women’s hoops

It is a jolt that shows not only the sport’s growing parity, but the upsets that may continue out west in the Pac-12. The top three teams from last week’s poll all lost in a span of four days, as did eight other teams ranked in the top 25. All but two of three of them lost to a fellow ranked opponent.

After No. 1 UConn lost to No. 6 Baylor on Thursday, No. 2 Oregon had the clear path to a fifth week as No. 1, but lost on Friday night. Then No. 3 Oregon State had a shot at the top spot in the polls for the first time in program history, but lost Sunday.

Both losses were to Arizona State (13-4, 3-2 Pac-12) on the road in Tempe. It’s believed to be the first time in NCAA history an unranked squad defeated top-five squads in the same weekend, and known to be the first time in at least 20 years, per AZcentral. The last ranked team to pull it off was Stanford in 2010, when the Cardinal defeated No. 4 Xavier and No. 1 UConn.

The ranked teams who fell Thursday, in addition to UConn: No. 9 N.C. State, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 11 Florida State, No. 17 Maryland, No. 21 Arkansas, No. 24 Michigan.

Joining them over the weekend: No. 12 Indiana (to unranked Iowa in 2OT), No. 18 Arizona (to both Oregon teams) and No. 24 Michigan, again, to Maryland.

The lone remaining undefeated team in the country is UCLA (16-0, 5-0 Pac-12).

AP Top 25 Jan. 13

The following are the rankings for Jan. 13 (week 11) with overall record, points and previous ranking.

1. South Carolina (20)

16-1

737

4 (+3)

2. Baylor (7)

13-1

724

6 (+4)

3. Stanford (1)

15-1

663

5 (+2)

4. UConn

13-1

651

1 (-3)

5. Louisville (2)

16-1

605

7 (+2)

6. Oregon

13-2

601

2 (-4)

7. UCLA

16-0

588

8 (+1)

8. Oregon St.

15-1

585

3 (-5)

9. NC State

15-1

459

9 (—)

10. Mississippi St.

15-2

448

13 (+3)

11. Kentucky

14-2

429

14 (+3)

12. Texas A&M

14-2

394

10 (-2)

13. Florida St.

15-2

369

11 (-2)

14. DePaul

15-2

366

15 (+1)

15. Indiana

14-3

333

12 (+3)

16. Gonzaga

16-1

327

16 (—)

17. West Virginia

13-1

289

19 (+2)

18. Arizona St.

13-4

200

-

19. Missouri St.

14-2

186

20 (+1)

20. Maryland

12-4

159

17 (-3)

21. Arizona

13-3

157

18 (-3)

22. Iowa

13-3

109

-

23. Arkansas

14-3

108

21 (-2)

24. Tennessee

13-3

102

23 (-1)

25. South Dakota

16-2

86

22 (-3)

Others receiving votes: Princeton 30, Northwestern 23, Rutgers 15, Georgia Tech 5, Florida Gulf Coast 2.

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