South Carolina tops AP women’s basketball poll for 36th consecutive week

Indiana, which lost at the buzzer to then-No. 6 Iowa on Caitlin Clark’s 3-pointer on Sunday, remained No. 2.

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South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston stands with the SEC regular-season championship trophy.

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston stands with the SEC regular-season championship trophy.

Nell Redmond/AP

After a week of upsets that saw 15 ranked teams lose, South Carolina remained the lone unbeaten school.

The Gamecocks ran their streak to 36 consecutive weeks atop The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll to match Louisiana Tech for the second-longest run in the history of the poll that dates to 1976.

South Carolina (29-0) finished the regular season unbeaten and was back to being a unanimous choice at No. 1 in national media poll released Monday. The Gamecocks only trail UConn (51 weeks) for the longest consecutive streak atop the Top 25.

“There’s definitely no relief” after their flawless regular season, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston said. “Now, were into the season where winning is the only option.”

While the Gamecocks won both of their games last week and enter the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed, the rankings got a big reshuffling. The 15 ranked teams losing at least one game was by far the most Top 25 schools to lose in the same week this season; 11 had lost in the same week a few times earlier this season.

Indiana, which lost at the buzzer to then-No. 6 Iowa on Caitlin Clark’s 3-pointer on Sunday, remained No. 2. Utah jumped up five places to No. 3 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford to clinch a share of the Pac-12 title. It’s Utah’s best ranking ever. The Cardinal dropped to sixth.

LSU and Maryland rounded out the top five.

Iowa was seventh with Virginia Tech eighth. UConn fell five spots to ninth after losing to St. John’s. Notre Dame was 10th. The Irish lost guard Olivia Miles to a knee injury in Sunday’s win over Louisville.

Villanova jumped four places to 11th. It’s the Wildcats best ranking since the team finished the 2003 season in the same spot. Texas made the biggest improvement, climbing seven spots to 12th.

Most of the Power Five conferences enter tournament play this week. The Big 12 Tournament is next week ahead of Selection Sunday and the beginning of March Madness.

BACK IN THE RANKINGS

South Florida re-entered the Top 25 at No. 25 after winning 15 of its last 16 games. The Bulls have one conference game left, at Cincinnati on Wednesday. South Florida was ranked for two weeks earlier this season. Florida State dropped out of the rankings.

FALLING ARIZONA

The Wildcats dropped seven places to No. 21 after losing at Oregon and Oregon State over the weekend. Arizona is 12-3 at home but 7-5 on the road.

THE TOP 25

1. South Carolina (28 first-place votes) 29-0

2. Indiana 26-2

3. Utah 25-3

4. LSU 27-1

5. Maryland 24-5

6. Stanford 27-4

7. Iowa 23-6

8. Virginia Tech 24-4

9. UConn 25-5

10. Notre Dame 24-4

11. Villanova 25-5

12. Texas 22-7

13. Duke 24-5

14. Ohio St. 23-6

15. Gonzaga 27-3

16. Oklahoma 22-5

17. Michigan 21-8

18. North Carolina 20-9

19. UCLA 22-8

20. Colorado 22-7

21. Arizona 21-8

22. UNLV 27-2

23. Iowa St. 18-8

24. Middle Tennessee 23-4

25. South Florida 25-5

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