BALLOT BREAKDOWN: UConn finishes at No. 1 in poll
Connecticut finished the season at No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. The Huskies were the unanimous choice every week except for one.
Now they and every other team will wait until Monday night to see where they will go in the NCAA tournament.
Here are five things to know about the final poll:
RUNNING THE TABLE: It’s the fifth time in UConn’s history that the Huskies have been No. 1 all season long. The other seasons were 1999-00; 2001-02; 2008-09; and 2009-10.
”It’s hard to do it from wire to wire and we’ve been in that situation before and know how difficult it is,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.
”Given the schedule we played and things that happened to us, I’m pretty proud of what our team has accomplished. Our players have managed to play at a high level all season and as you watch more and more games being played out you see how hard it is to stay at that level. I think it’s well deserved.”
This is the 11th time that UConn has been on top to end the season. The next closest teams are Tennessee and Louisiana Tech with five each.
BRIDESMAID: Notre Dame had the best season so far in school history going 32-0 and winning both the ACC regular season and tournament championships. The Irish also finished second in last season’s poll. It’s the third time they have finished second in the final poll. Notre Dame has never been ranked No. 1 at season’s end.
CONFERENCE SUPREMECY: The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten can lay claim to being the most dominant conferences in the poll which each having five teams on the final ballot. The SEC is next with four while the Big 12 and Pac-12 each have three.
While the new Big East has only one team with conference regular season and tournament champion DePaul ranked at 23, the old configuration from a few years back would have had five.
TOP SEEDS: UConn and Notre Dame are locks to be one seeds while Stanford, Tennessee, South Carolina, Baylor and Louisville all are hoping that they can secure the other two top spots. The Lady Vols and Cardinal may have the inside track boasting the most impressive resumes of the group. Still with Baylor winning the Big 12 regular season and conference tournament it’s hard to dismiss the Lady Bears. South Carolina put together a strong body of work taking the SEC regular season title. Louisville doesn’t have a bad loss this season, only falling to top-ranked UConn three times and No. 10 Kentucky once.
BACK IN THE POLL: Southern Cal earned its first ranking since 2011 coming in at No. 25 this week. The Trojans won the Pac-12 tournament, knocking off Stanford in the semifinals and beating Oregon State in the championship game. Bowling Green, which entered the rankings last week for the first time since 2009, fell out.
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