On this incredibly, singularly-sad day in the basketball world, the games must go on.
Kobe Bryant’s interest in and advocacy for women’s basketball was appreciated across the game. He was a follower and a fan, and a father with daughters who wanted to be counted among these remarkable young women some day. The sense of loss felt across the game on Sunday is immeasurable.
Here’s the NCAA Power 10 for the week ending January 26, 2020 (last week's rankings in parentheses):
1) South Carolina (19-1) (1) After pulling out a win over Mississippi State that put the Gamecocks on the inside track for the SEC title with a 7-0 start, South Carolina followed up with a blowout win Sunday against Georgia for their 13th straight victory. Twelve times this season, the Gamecocks have had five players score in double figures in the same game, a testament to their balance. Next up, South Carolina travels to take on Ole Miss on Thursday, followed by Sunday’s showdown at home against Tennessee.
2) Oregon (17-2) (3) Friday night’s home win over Oregon State was one for the scrapbook — WNBA Commissioner, professional coaches and GMs in a huge crowd and Sabrina Ionescu making history as the all-time NCAA leader in assists (men or women). Sunday’s game in Corvallis was a tight affair until the Ducks broke away late in the game to get their first win at OSU in 10 years. A huge momentum weekend for Oregon heading into the back half of Pac-12 play, which continues next weekend at Utah and Colorado.
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3) Baylor (17-1) (2) The Bears ran their home winning streak to 50 games with a win over Texas Tech despite missing leading scorer NaLyssa Smith for the past two games with a high ankle sprain. But Smith’s absence is being felt. Both of Baylor’s games this week were decided by single digits, a change of pace for a team that has led the nation in margin of victory this season. The Bears will play at home for the third time in the last four games Tuesday against Iowa State.
4) Connecticut (18-1) (4) The Huskies notched perhaps the highest-profile win of the week with their victory over Tennessee at home, and then easily defeated East Carolina in their return to the conference schedule. Next up is a Monday exhibition against the U.S. national team, part of a stretch of five games in 12 days.
5) Louisville (20-1) (5) The Cardinals won their 12th straight game Sunday with a victory over Pitt, notching their 10th straight 20-win season under Jeff Walz. Louisville had six players in double figures in their win. Next up a big trip to South Bend for a Thursday night matchup against Notre Dame.
6) Mississippi State (18-3) (6) The Bulldogs are in the middle of a three-game home stretch that got started the right way with a dominating win over rival Ole Miss. Jessika Carter has scored 46 points in her last two games and has four double-doubles in her last nine games. MSU will play two more games in Starkville this week against Auburn and Georgia before a Feb. 6 date at Tennessee.
7) Stanford (18-2) (7) The Cardinal’s depth is being tested at this critical point of the season. DiJonai Carrington hasn’t played since November. Haley Jones’ knee injury, the severity of which is still not known, kept her out this weekend. And Stanford was taken to overtime Friday night against unranked Colorado before defeating Utah to complete the weekend sweep.
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8) North Carolina State (19-1) (8) The Wolfpack ran its home record to 12-0 this season with a tight win over rival North Carolina, avenging its only loss of the season. Next up is a three-game road swing that includes Thursday’s game against Clemson followed by a Sunday date at Duke.
9) UCLA (18-1) (10) The Bruins got Michaela Onyenwere back this weekend, and it was a good thing because UCLA got pushed to overtime Friday for a win against Washington and then defeated Washington State to complete the weekend sweep. Onyenwere collected her eighth and ninth 20-point games of the season on the weekend, while freshman Charisma Osborne has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
10) DePaul (19-2) (NR) The Blue Demons make their first appearance in the Power 10 this season, winning 10 straight games, including Sunday’s victory over Georgetown. DePaul ranks second in the nation in 3-pointers, third in scoring, assists and turnover margin, fourth in steals and free throw percentage.
SCOREBOARD: Follow along for stats from every game