Sports

UConn Women Still No. 1

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Stefanie Dolson vs. Oregon, Nov. 20, 2013. (Photo by Bob Stowell)

Stefanie Dolson vs. Oregon, Nov. 20, 2013. (Photo by Bob Stowell)

By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer

UConn stayed No. 1 in The Associated Press’ women’s basketball poll after two easy victories this week against ranked opponents. It might be awhile before the Huskies go anywhere.

While they are firmly planted on top, there was movement below with Notre Dame moving up to second. If UConn faces the Irish, it won’t come until the NCAA tournament _ if at all.

The good news is that these former Big East rivals renewed their series starting next season.

Here are five things to know about this week’s Top 25:

CONTINUED DOMINANCE: UConn turned two Top 25 games into easy wins, routing Duke and Cal. Then again, the Huskies have done it all season, winning their 12 contests by an average of 37 points. Four of those victories were over Top 25 teams, including then-No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Stanford.

UConn has only three games remaining against teams that are currently ranked, with a contest at Baylor and two against Louisville.

ROUGH WEEK FOR SEC: Call it the ballot breakdown jinx. Ranked SEC teams came into the last poll 47-1 and had a chance to establish conference dominance this week. It didn’t happen, as all five of the league’s Top 25 teams lost _ four of them for the first time this season. Tennessee fell to Stanford; Kentucky lost to Duke; South Carolina was beaten by North Carolina; LSU dropped a game to N.C. State and Georgia was defeated by Rutgers. It was the first loss of the year for Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia.

Unranked Arkansas is the lone unbeaten left in the conference.

FREEFALLING: Oklahoma made the biggest drop in the poll, falling five spots to No. 25 after losing at Marist on Saturday. Coach Sherri Coale is one of the few who will play anywhere.

“I just look to play the best basketball teams whether it’s a mid-major or power,” Coale said. “We need to do this to help the game grow.”

CONFERENCE PLAY: Most conferences open up play this weekend, with one of the highlights coming in the mid-major world as No. 24 Gonzaga visits Saint Mary’s on Saturday. The Bulldogs’ lone conference loss last season came against the Gaels. The WCC didn’t do the Zags any favors with seven of their first nine conference games on the road.

UNBEATENS: Quick, name the four undefeated teams in the Top 25. UConn and Notre Dame are the easy ones. The other two aren’t as expected. No. 11 Oklahoma State is 10-0 and 14th-ranked Iowa State is 9-0. The two Big 12 schools face off Jan. 11. Want extra credit? Name the three other teams that haven’t lost yet this season. Arkansas, San Diego and Indiana would be the answer. All three schools haven’t had the most difficult non-conference schedules but will be tested soon. The Lady Razorbacks open up conference play against South Carolina. The Toreros will face Gonzaga in early January, and the Hoosiers play Iowa.

On the other end of the spectrum, only three teams remain winless, with UMass-Lowell, Prairie View and New Orleans still looking for a first victory.

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Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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