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Autumn Johnson | March 8, 2021

Women's basketball rankings: Georgia breaks into Power 10 in Week 16

Women's basketball rankings: Georgia breaks into Power 10 in Week 16

We've made it to conference tournament play! The ACC, SEC and Pac-12 have wrapped up but there's still plenty of conference play underway for an opportunity for teams to punch their ticket in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

We're a week away from before we get to Selection Monday, so here's my final Power 10 rankings in Week 16 of women's college basketball. Plus, there's a new team featured for the first time in my rankings. 

1. UConn  — The Huskies breezed past its Big East foes to finish 18-0 in the conference and earned the regular-season title. The No. 1 team in the country went 23-1 overall only falling to Arkansas on Jan. 28. UConn showed its resilience outside of the Big East, dominating SEC top 25 opponents — Tennessee and South Carolina. UConn is lead by freshman guard Paige Bueckers, who swept the Big East Player and Freshman of the Year awards. Bueckers joins Maya Moore as the only woman in Big East history to sweep both awards in the same season. 

2. NC State — Say hello to the back-to-back ACC champs! NC State took care of business in the same fashion they ended the 2020 season, defeating Louisville 58-56 to punch its ticket in the NCAA Tournament. This is the second time this season the Wolfpack were able to knock off Louisville. NC State is rolling on an eight-game winning streak and looking to carry that momentum in its journey to make a run for a national title.  As the Wolfpack wait for Selection Monday on March 15, they have built a pretty strong case for themselves to be a No. 1 seed by knocking off two No. 1 teams in one season and finishing as the ACC champs. 

NC State ACC Champions

3. Texas A&M  — The Aggies won its first SEC regular-season title in program history against South Carolina on Feb 28, which marked a 9-0 record against top-25 opponents. A&M finished with a 23-2 overall record and racked up an incredible resume against teams like Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. Unfortunately, the Aggies were not able to remain undefeated against ranked opponents after facing then-No. 16 Georgia. The Bulldogs eliminated the Aggies in the semifinals of the SEC tournament, 74-68. 

4. Stanford  — Talk about a comeback!  Stanford had a mid-season hiccup, suffering back-to-back losses against Colorado and UCLA — its only two losses of the season. Since then, Stanford's 14-game winning-streak led to cutting down the program's 14th Pac-12 regular-season title and 12th Pac-12 championship. The Cardinal were able to avenge its loss against the Bruins in the championship game, 75-55. Throughout the course of the season, Stanford's versatility has shown that they will be a scary team in March. 

5. South Carolina  — The Gamecocks might have fallen to Texas A&M to become the regular-season champs, but what better way than to come out on top as the SEC Tournament champions? South Carolina took down Georgia to win the SEC title in back-to-back seasons. Aaliyah Boston created a lot of attention in the paint throughout the season but remained a force for her team putting up double-digit points in each tournament contest and came out as the SEC's tournament MVP. 

WBB Radar: Here are 8 unranked women's basketball teams to keep an eye on this March

6. Baylor — The 21-2 Bears secured the Big 12's regular-season title and are currently on a 13-game winning streak heading into its final regular-season game against West Virginia. Despite the adversities Baylor has faced, the defending national champions have a balanced attack that leads the nation in rebound margin, assists per game and is the top 10 scoring offense in the country. Baylor is led by NaLyssa Smith, who has scored in double-digits in 21-straight games. 

7. Maryland  — Watch out for the Big Ten regular-season champs. The Terps are ready to make noise on a national stage with the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, and it just got scarier with Angel Reese back in the paint after suffering an injury. That adds five Terps in double-digit scoring, which is led by Ashley Owusu who can score in multiple fashions. This squad also features Katie Benzan, who is No. 1 in three-point field goal percentage shooting at a 51.6 percent clip. Maryland's 10-game winning streak includes notable wins over Iowa, Northwestern and Michigan. 

Maryland regular-season champs

8. Louisville  This wasn't the way Louisville wanted to end its regular-season, falling to NC State in the ACC championship game...again. Especially, not how lone senior Dana Evans wanted to close out conference play in her final year. But there's still a lot of basketball left for the Cardinals. Louisville has had a few hiccups this season against Florida State and NC State twice, but I do not believe that determines its destiny. You cannot count this squad out too early that's lead by Evans. 

9. UCLA  —  UCLA knocked off Arizona in the semifinals to take on Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship, but the Bruins couldn't get the job done to finish on top of the Pac 12's throne. In the two-game series between the UCLA and Stanford, the Bruins walked away victorious in its last matchup on Jan. 22. UCLA has been plagued by limited depth on the bench this season which was shown by the multiple spurts of injuries and cramps against Stanford's endless weapons. 

10. Georgia —  They say the scariest teams are the ones that get hot during tournament time, and the Bulldogs are on fire right now. Despite falling to South Carolina in the SEC Championship, the SEC Coach of the Year Joni Taylor led the Bulldogs to take down Kentucky and Texas A&M to get to the final stage. The Bulldogs gave South Carolina a run for its money only falling to the Gamecocks by five points. Georgia finished the season 20-6 overall, 12-6 against SEC foes and was listed as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA DI women's basketball selection committee's second top 16 reveal. It will be interesting to see what noise the Bulldogs will continue to make in the NCAA Tournament. 

 

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