South Carolina, Stanford remain at top of AP women’s Top 25

Michigan moved up one spot to No. 6, the team’s highest ranking ever.

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Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico has led the Wolverines to their highest-ever AP poll ranking.

Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico has led the Wolverines to their highest-ever AP poll ranking.

Rebecca S. Gratz/AP

Michigan moved up one spot to sixth in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday, the team’s highest ranking ever.

South Carolina remained the No. 1 team in the poll, garnering 29 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel after beating Vanderbilt, then-No. 24 Mississippi and Florida. Third-ranked North Carolina State received the other top vote. Stanford stayed at No. 2.

Louisville moved up one spot to fourth.

It’s a big week for the Wolverines with games against fifth-ranked Indiana and No. 21 Iowa over the next seven days.

Michigan, which had never been in the top 10 before this season, hosted the Hoosiers late Monday in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Big Ten. Indiana is playing its first game since Jan. 16 because of COVID-19 protocols.

“They haven’t played in a long time, so we’re going to prep for everyone,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “It’s such an interesting time in COVID you don’t know who’s going to be playing.”

Both teams moved up a place after then-No. 4 Tennessee lost to Auburn last week. The Lady Vols fell to seventh. It was Auburn’s first win over a top five team since the 1997 SEC Tournament. Tennessee has a busy week, hosting Arkansas on Monday night before playing at Florida on Thursday and rival UConn on Sunday.

Arizona, Baylor and UConn rounded out the top 10.

Ole Miss and Duke fell out of the Top 25 while Florida Gulf Coast and North Carolina came back in at 22 and 24, respectively.

MILESTONE

LSU coach Kim Mulkey earned her 650th career victory on Sunday with the Tigers’ win over Kentucky, becoming the fastest coach in men’s and women’s basketball to reach that mark. The Hall of Famer is 650-108 in her career at Baylor and LSU, including going 18-4 this season, her first with the 15th-ranked Tigers.

600 CLUB

Florida Gulf Coast coach Karl Smesko needs one win to reach 600 in his career. FGCU routed its two conference opponents last week and is 19-1 this season with the lone loss coming against Princeton. The Eagles have done it lately without star Kierstan Bell, who had surgery last week to repair a partially torn meniscus in her knee. They hope to have her back in March. Bell, who’s averaging 23.4 points, has already said she will enter the WNBA draft this year.

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 19 Oregon at No. 8 Arizona, Friday. When these two teams first met earlier this month, Arizona blew a double-digit lead before falling in overtime to Oregon. The rematch should be entertaining.

The Top 25

1. South Carolina 20-1

2. Stanford 16-3

3. NC State 19-2

4. Louisville 18-2

5. Indiana 14-2

6. Michigan 18-2

7. Tennessee 18-2

8. Arizona 15-3

9. Baylor 15-4

10. UConn 13-4

11. Iowa St. 18-3

12. Georgia Tech 17-4

13. Texas 15-4

14. Georgia 16-4

15. LSU 18-4

16. BYU 18-1

17. Maryland 15-6

18. Oklahoma 18-3

19. Oregon 14-5

20. Notre Dame 16-4

21. Iowa 14-4

22. Florida Gulf Coast 19-1

23. Ohio St. 15-4

24. North Carolina 16-4

25. Kansas St 16-5

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