The Connecticut Huskies are absent from the top five spots in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the first time in 13 years.
Their record 253-week run ended on Monday when the Huskies dropped from fifth to sixth in the poll. The streak dates back to Feb. 5, 2007, and far outpaces the second-longest streak. Louisiana Tech set the mark of 96 weeks in the 1980s, per poll historian Mel Greenberg. That program was an early powerhouse in the women’s game, winning the inaugural championship in 1982.
South Carolina, which held the top spot in the poll again this week following its easily handling of the Huskies at home last Monday night, holds the longest current streak of 11, per the Associated Press. It received 27 of the 30 first-place votes.
Rounding out the top five is No. 2 Baylor and No. 3 Oregon, both of which also held; No. 4 Stanford, which won on a last-second shot by Kiana Williams to climb four spots; and No. 5 Louisville, which jumped five after its win over previous No 4 North Carolina State.
UConn’s streak of top-5 rankings ends
The Huskies had an incredible run atop the standings with the best players in the country playing in Storrs, Connecticut, during that time. Nine of the 11 titles came with standouts and Team USA superstars Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore or Breanna Stewart on the roster.
The record streak included 51 consecutive weeks from 2008-10 during which UConn has No. 1. The Huskies held the top ranking for a total of 151 weeks during the 253-week run.
Per the AP, a total of 27 other teams have been in the top five during their run and none came close to the level UConn reached.
This season in particular has seen incredible parity with four teams — including UConn from weeks 8 to 10 — holding the top spot. The higher level of play from competitors forced an end to the Huskies dominance, at least for now.
“We’re allowed to lose a damn game once in a while where the other team plays better than us,” Auriemma said after last week’s loss to the Gamecocks.
UConn (21-3, 11-0 AAC) has losses to the top 3 teams in the AP poll and is playing its final season in the American Athletic Conference. The next mark is its streak in the top 10, which is at 286 weeks. It seems highly unlikely that streak would snap this season, barring something unexpected occurring.
The @UConnWBB still has an incredible 286 consecutive weeks in the top 10 dating back to the final poll in 2004-05 season.— Doug Feinberg (@DougFeinberg) February 17, 2020
Upsets didn’t help UConn’s streak this week
It was another wild weekend in women’s hoops.
Friday night, unranked USC defeated previously-ranked No. 11 Oregon State behind Alissa Pili’s 26 points and 13 rebounds. Then it got even more shuffled on Sunday.
Georgia Tech pulled yet another upset on an up-and-down year by defeating formerly fourth-ranked N.C. State by posting a 26-15 third quarter. It was the second consecutive loss for them after falling to Louisville on Thursday night. Then-14th ranked Florida State fell to Duke in another ACC upset.
No. 18 Kentucky, behind Rhyne Howard and her heavily wrapped injured hand, took down then-No. 6 Mississippi State with a big third quarter. In the Big Ten, then-20th Indiana lost to Ohio State by falling behind, 31-21, in the final quarter.
Most damaging to UConn was Stanford, which preserved its movement up the rankings with Williams’ last-second shot that avoided overtime against Colorado in the Pac-12.
AP rankings: Week 16 (Feb. 17)
South Carolina (24-1)
Stanford (23-3) (+4)
Louisville (23-2 (+4)
UConn (21-3) (-1)
Maryland (22-4) (+3)
UCLA (21-3) (-1)
Mississippi State (22-4 (-3)
NC State (22-3) (-6)
Arizona (21-4) (+1)
DePaul (24-3) (+1)
Gonzaga (25-2) (+2)
Kentucky (19-5) (+4)
Oregon State (19-6) (-4)
Texas A&M (20-5)
Florida State (20-5) (-3)
Northwestern (22-3) (+1)
Iowa (21-5) (-2)
South Dakota (24-2) (+1)
Arizona State (18-8) (+1)
Arkansas (20-5) (+1)
Missouri State (21-3) (+1)
Indiana (20-7) (-4)
Princeton (19-1) (+1)
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