Caitlin Clark and Iowa back to No. 2 in AP Top 25 Women’s poll; South Carolina unanimous number 1


This is the second time in as many weeks that the Hawkeyes have finished second in the poll, a position that has not been good for teams over the past month. UCLA, Iowa and Kansas State took turns being ranked second since January 8, and no school could maintain that ranking for more than a week at a time.

While No. 2 has been a revolving door recently, South Carolina has maintained a strong hold in the poll, once again being the consensus No. 1 team from the 35-member national media panel.

Iowa has been ranked No. 2 twice before this season, including the week of January 15 when the Hawkeyes lost to Ohio State.

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Following Iowa were No. 3 North Carolina State, No. 4 Colorado and No. 5 Ohio State. This is the Buckeyes’ best ranking this season.

Texas moved up five spots to No. 7 after defeating Baylor and then-No. 2 Kansas State last week. The Wildcats dropped to eighth after also losing to Oklahoma, which entered the poll at No. 24. UCLA was ranked ninth and USC moved up five spots to 10th.

Only once in the last 15 years has a team been ranked No. 2 for an entire season: Stanford in 2009–10. It’s been a volatile place lately. In the 2018–19 season, the No. 2 position changed hands 10 times, the most in that period. There have already been seven No. 2 teams this season.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma is one win away from joining Tara VanDerveer (1,207) and Mike Krzyzewski (1,202) as the only Division I coaches with 1,200 wins. Auriemma’s first chance to reach that milestone comes Wednesday when the Huskies host Seton Hall.

North Carolina fell out of the rankings this week despite close losses to NC State and Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels have lost eight games this season, including five to currently ranked teams (South Carolina, Kansas State, UConn, Virginia Tech, and NC State). All the losses among the top 25 have been within 12 points. They have also defeated four current top 25 teams (Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Louisville).

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