NEW YORK — UConn, Notre Dame and Louisville remain the top three teams in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll.
With most teams taking a break for the holidays, there wasn’t much movement in the Top 25 poll Monday. The only change in the first 10 teams was Mississippi State and Baylor exchanging places at No. 7 and 8. Maryland and Oregon were fourth and fifth in the poll voted on by a 31-member national media panel.
Baylor has a huge chance to move up the poll this week when the Lady Bears host top-ranked UConn on Thursday night. The Huskies were off this past week and finish off a two-game trip to Texas with a game at Houston on Sunday. UConn hasn’t played at home since Dec. 8.
Notre Dame easily beat Lehigh on Sunday in its lone game this week. The victory earned Muffet McGraw her 900th’ career win.
There was movement in the second half of the poll with California dropping four spots to 18th after losing to Harvard. Arizona State fell five places to 22nd after falling to Pac-12 rival Arizona. DePaul also dropped down five spots after losing its Big East opener to Creighton.
Michigan State made the biggest leap, climbing up six spots to 15th after topping Iowa in a Big Ten game. It’s the Spartans best ranking since Nov. 17, 2014 when they were also 15th.
Iowa State was the lone team to enter the poll while Miami fell out after losing to Central Michigan.
Here are some other tidbits from the poll:
WINNING WHALEN: No. 12 Minnesota had its best ranking in 12 years last week. The Golden Gophers were No. 11 on Feb. 6, 2006. The Gophers (12-0) are off to their best start since 2003-04 when the team won its first 15 games. They also started 12-0 in 2002-03. Those were head coach Lindsay Whalen’s senior and junior seasons. A win Monday at Michigan would give Whalen the most wins without a loss to open a coaching career at Minnesota, breaking a tie with her former coach, Pam Borton, whose first year was 2002-03. The only coach at a Big Ten school with more wins in his or her first year at that school is Ohio State’s Debbie Wilson, who started 14-0 in 1972-73.
GAME OF THE WEEK: While Baylor-UConn is the marquee game of the week, a huge SEC clash will take place on Thursday night also with No. 23 South Carolina visiting No. 21 Texas A&M. Dawn Staley’s team will try and get an early road victory.