South Carolina beat a top opponent to remain No. 1 in the Associated Press women’s college basketball poll released Monday and now has a showdown with another one looming this weekend.
The Gamecocks (23-0) topped then- No. 5 UConn, 81-77, Sunday to remain unbeaten and stay the unanimous choice atop the poll from the 28-member national media panel. After facing Auburn Thursday, South Carolina will play No. 3 LSU Sunday in a matchup of the last two unbeatens in Division 1 women’s college basketball.
Dawn Staley’s team has won 29 consecutive games and has been No. 1 in the poll for 33 consecutive weeks. That’s one week short of tying the Huskies for the third-longest streak atop the poll. Only UConn (51 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) have had longer runs at No. 1.
While South Carolina has had a stranglehold on No. 1 for more than a year, Indiana is making its first appearance ever at No. 2 after Stanford lost to Washington.
Indiana has won 10 straight since suffering its lone loss of the season to Michigan State. The Hoosiers have a tough stretch coming up, starting with a home game against No. 5 Iowa Thursday. Indiana, which hadn’t been ranked higher than fourth before Monday, then plays No. 13 Ohio State and 12th-ranked Michigan.
LSU remained at No. 3 after close wins over Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M. The Tigers have a week to prepare for the Gamecocks.
UConn moved up one spot to fourth after its close loss to the Gamecocks and Iowa was fifth.