CBKB: AP poll: UConn women finish season at No. 1 again
By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer
UConn coach Geno Auriemma has been impressed with his Huskies unprecedented run at No. 1.
It’s easy to get lost in all the streaks, numbers, and stats that Connecticut has put up during its record breaking 72-game winning streak. Still, he was surprised that the Huskies became just the second team to run through two straight seasons as No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball Top 25 poll. Louisiana Tech is the only other team to pull off the feat, from 1980-82.
“Wow. Anything you can do that you can’t believe is happening for the first or second time, you’re forced to look back and say that’s a long time,” said Auriemma after his team won its 16th Big East tournament championship last week.
In all, only seven teams have run through the poll from start to finish at No. 1 — including four times by UConn.
UConn was the top choice in the poll for a 43rd straight week after receiving all 40 first-place votes from the media panel in the final poll of the season Monday.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be associated with all the stuff that’s gone on the last few years,” Auriemma said. “To be a part of it and know how hard it is to do what we’ve done has meant a lot to me.”
Connecticut, which has now finished the season at No. 1 nine times, was followed by Stanford, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Xavier.
The Huskies (33-0), who have been a unanimous choice in the poll for 35 straight weeks, will be the No. 1 overall seed when the NCAA tournament field is announced Monday night.
Stanford was No. 2 all year, marking the first time the top two teams remained the same for the entire season. Tennessee, second all-time with five No. 1 finishes, continued its streak of appearing in every final poll. The Lady Vols followed up their worst finish last season with a No. 3 ranking. They have finished in the top 10 in 23 of the last 24 seasons.
Nebraska saw its perfect season end with a semifinal loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 tournament. The Cornhuskers fell one place to fourth. Xavier was fifth and became the first non-BCS conference team to finish in the top five since Louisiana Tech in 2000.
Duke is No. 6, followed by Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
Florida State fell one place to 11th. The Seminoles were followed by Oklahoma, Georgetown, Baylor, and St. John’s. The Red Storm matched their highest ranking ever.
Iowa State and Texas both fell two places. Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State were the next three.
LSU, UCLA, Georgia, Michigan State, and Hartford round out the poll.