NCAA women’s basketball poll, week 9

The Louisville Cardinals extended their winning streak to 15 straight victories over the weekend, and hang on to the top spot in this week’s top 25 poll. South Carolina held on to avoid the upset at Arkansas and defeated Texas A&M, as Aliyah Boston continues to dominate, solidifying the Gamecocks’ hold at No. 2. Stanford took down the final undefeated team at the time on Friday night, as they escaped Colorado with an eight-point victory; on Sunday they climbed their way back against one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams, as they beat Utah. Thus, the Cardinal hold off NC State for the third spot in this week’s poll. The Wolfpack looked sharp Sunday with a rout of Duke, looking like they’re ready for the Final Four, and currently sit fourth in our poll. The Lady Vols round out the top five, after double-digit wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky last week, and currently sit alone atop the SEC. Junior star Tamari Key suffered an ankle injury on Sunday, which could make things interesting, as Tennessee is slated to take on 6-4 Jenna Staiti and the Georgia Lady Bulldogs this weekend. the Lady Vols are off to their best start since the 2007-08 season.

Indiana got two big wins last week, over Nebraska and Purdue, which puts them at No. 6. Michigan lead from start to finish in a much-anticipated matchup at Maryland Sunday afternoon, and their red-hot shooting and tenacious defense was too much for the Terrapins. The impressive win lands the Wolverines at seven. We welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to the top 10 this week, as Bill Fennelly’s squad gutted out a big win at Kansas State before taking down Oklahoma State. The Cyclones have plenty of offensive firepower and could be a team that makes a deep run in March. UConn slides up one spot to nine after defeating Butler and Xavier. Freshman Caroline Ducharme has been the star, with the absence of Paige Bueckers. Kim Mulkey’s LSU Lady Tigers claim the final spot in the top 10. LSU is currently tied for second in the SEC, and with just two losses on the season, Mulkey seems to have the Tigers back to the winning ways the program experienced in the mid-to-late 2000’s.

At 12-5, Maryland sits at 11 this week. The combination of a tough schedule and injuries has them still searching for their groove, but once they find it, they can score as well as anyone else in the country. Arizona got a buzzer-beater win over Oregon State before losing to Oregon in an overtime thriller. It’s not necessarily the play of the Wildcats that keeps them at 12, but the play of others. Notre Dame surges to 13 this week, rising five spots. The Fighting Irish have a combination of youth and veteran leadership that has propelled them all season. Texas drops six spots after another loss to an unranked team, but they bounced back with a win over West Virginia. The Longhorns will face another tough battle on Wednesday as they head to Iowa State. Georgia claims the 15th spot, after a win over Missouri.

BYU continued their hot streak, and sit at 16 once again this week. Oklahoma took down Baylor and TCU to rise six spots to 17 this week. Georgia Tech escaped with a win over Florida State, but fell to unranked Miami over the weekend, and fall to 18. Baylor dropped to 19 after the loss to the Sooners, and a one possession win over Kansas last week. Iowa is back to their winning ways with wins over Purdue and Nebraska, and sit at 20.

Despite a loss to the Cardinal, Colorado rises to 21. Nebraska suffered back-to-back losses last week, but the shorthanded Huskers showed promise on Sunday at Iowa; their play was good enough to keep them in the poll, as they fall just one spot to 22. Duke seems to be in a funk, as they suffered back-to-back losses to Virginia Tech and NC State. Their lack of experience playing together has made things difficult in adverse moments, but they remain in the poll at 23. Florida Gulf Coast reenters this week’s poll after receiving votes for several weeks. The Eagles currently hold a record of 15-1 with a win over LSU on the season. Rounding out the top 25 is Ole Miss, which fell out of the poll a couple weeks ago after a lopsided loss to Tennessee. They have looked formidable of late.

Top 25

  1. Louisville
  2. South Carolina
  3. Stanford
  4. NC State
  5. Tennessee
  6. Indiana
  7. Michigan
  8. Iowa State
  9. UConn
  10. LSU
  11. Maryland
  12. Arizona
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Texas
  15. Georgia
  16. BYU
  17. Oklahoma
  18. Georgia Tech
  19. Baylor
  20. Iowa
  21. Colorado
  22. Nebraska
  23. Duke
  24. Florida Gulf Coast
  25. Ole Miss

RV: UNC, Virginia Tech, UCF, Ohio State, South Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, DePaul, Kansas State