UConn cruised to two more conference wins and remained No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll to start off 2020.
The Huskies received 19 first-place votes Monday from a 30-member media panel to stay ahead of second-ranked Oregon. The Ducks got seven first-place votes, picking up two from Oregon State, which got three. The Beavers stayed No. 3 and were followed again by South Carolina, Stanford and Baylor.
The Lady Bears will play at Connecticut on Thursday — the first of three marquee matchups for the Huskies over the next month. UConn, which beat Wichita State and SMU last week, also plays Tennessee and Oregon, as well as having an exhibition game against the USA Basketball national team.
Louisville was No. 7, with UCLA jumping two spots to No. 8 after the Bruins beat previously undefeated Arizona on Sunday. North Carolina State was No. 9 and Texas A&M moved up to No. 10.
While the top of the poll was relatively unchanged, South Dakota, Michigan and Princeton entered the rankings at Nos. 22, 23 and 25 while Miami, Minnesota and Texas fell out.
The Tigers entered the poll despite not playing since Dec. 29. Princeton (12-1) plays rival Penn on Saturday and then is off for exams for a few weeks.
“I’m really thrilled to be in the Top 25 and for us to be recognized,” first-year Princeton coach Carla Berube said. “It’s great for our league. Our league is really, really strong this year. Opening up this weekend so we’re excited about that. It’s great to get this national attention. We’ve put together a great nonconference these first couple months. Had some really great wins. I like where our team is at.”
Princeton is the only Ivy team ever to be ranked, reaching the women’s Top 25 for the first time in the final poll of 2012 before having an 11-week run in 2015. The Tigers edged Northwestern by one point for the final spot. The Wildcats had a huge 23-point win over then-No. 12 Maryland before getting blown out by Iowa.
Here are a few other tidbits from the poll:
FALLING SEMINOLES: Florida State dropped three spots to No. 11 after losing its first game of the season on a last-second shot in overtime at Syracuse. The Seminoles bounced back with a nine-point victory over then-No. 23 Miami on Sunday.
WILY COYOTES: South Dakota is back in the poll for the second time this season. The Coyotes (15-2) had a one-week stay in the middle of December. South Dakota plays Omaha on Saturday.