AP Women’s College Basketball Top 25: South Carolina remains at No. 1, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer sets record for most appearances

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Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer sits atop The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the most appearances of all time, breaking a tie with the late Pat Summitt.

VanDerveer’s Cardinal remained in second place behind top-ranked South Carolina on Monday, giving him 619 weeks with one of his AP Top 25 teams: 592 weeks with Stanford and 27 with Ohio State when He was in charge of that program. Summitt’s 618 weeks in the poll came with Tennessee.

The Hall of Fame coach downplayed the achievement.

“Fortunate to be here for 36 years. We have great players and we have been successful,” VanDerveer said. “I don’t pay attention (to the records). People bring it up and I’m like, ‘OK, great.’”

Louisville dropped out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2016, in a span of 127 weeks. That was the fifth longest active streak. The Cardinals (5-4) began the season in seventh place and have struggled to find consistency this year, losing their last two games to Ohio State and Middle Tennessee.

They are the third preseason top-10 team to come out of the poll, joining Texas (this week) and Tennessee (last week). Prior to this year, only 10 of the top 10 preseason teams had fallen out of the rankings at some point during the year since the AP Top 25 became a writers’ poll in 1994-95.

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Even rarer has been the dropout among the top five of the preseason. Only five teams had done it before this year and none before January. Tennessee was the last to do so, beginning the 2015-16 season at No. 4 before falling down the ranking on February 22.

Now Texas and Tennessee are out before the New Year.

“Two factors are at play here. One of them is more parity with more good teams,” said Rebecca Lobo, the former UConn star, ESPN analyst and Top 25 voter. “The other factor at play is the transfer portal. I think those three teams have several starting players who weren’t on their program a year ago. It’s a reflection that you can’t just build teams and immediately expect them to be good. I think all of those teams will be in the poll at the end of the season.”

Ohio State moved up to No. 3 after the Buckeyes’ best ranking since November 30, 2009, when they were also third. Indiana and Notre Dame round out the top five.

UConn dropped three places to sixth with Virginia Tech seventh, the best ever ranking for the school. North Carolina and NC State were tied for eighth place and Iowa State is tenth.

RATED RAZORBACKS

Arkansas (10-0) jumped into the poll at No. 21. The Razorbacks have a tough month ahead with games against No. 18 Creighton and a tournament in San Diego that features Oregon, South Florida and Ohio State.

“I think we know a lot about our team,” Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said.

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He was also happy that his team took the poll, as every campus sports team that has played this year has been ranked, including soccer, boys’ basketball, soccer, and cross country.

“We didn’t want to be the team that stops that streak,” he said.

THE FALL OF LOUISVILLE

The Cardinals had been ranked every week since Jan. 11, 2016. That was the same season they started the year at No. 8 before falling on Nov. 30, the first time a top-10 team had dropped out of the poll until last week. . Things got better for Louisville when the Cardinals finished that regular season 24-6 and went 15-1 in the ACC.

HISTORICAL WEEK

With Louisville, Texas and Tennessee outside the Top 25, it’s only the second time in the poll’s history that none of those three teams has ranked. The only other time was the first survey in 1976.

COMING AND GOING

Oklahoma and Kansas State also returned to the Top 25 this week, ranking 23rd and 24th. Marquette retired after losing to Seton Hall.

AP sportswriter Janie McCauley contributed to this report.

AP Top 25

1. South Carolina (29 first-place votes)

2.Stanford

3. Ohio State

4.Indiana

5. Our Lady

6.UConn

7. Virginia Tech

8. North Carolina

9. State of North Carolina

10. Iowa State

11.LSU

12.Arizona

13.UCLA

14.Michigan

15.utah

16.Iowa

17. Oregon

18.Creighton

19.Baylor

20.Maryland

21.Arkansas

22.Gonzaga

23.Oklahoma

24. Kansas State

25. Villanueva

Others receiving votes: Kansas 37, Marquette 30, Louisville 28, Texas 17, St. John’s 14, South Florida 12, Miami (FL) 12, Virginia 8, Duke 5, Florida State 4, Rice 4, Purdue 3, Nebraska 2 , Missouri 2, Seton Hall 1, Middle Tennessee 1

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AP sportswriter Janie McCauley contributed to this report.

— Doug Feinberg, Associated Press basketball writer