By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer
Connecticut finished where it started _ at No. 1.
The Huskies received all 36 first-place votes Monday in The Associated Press Top 25 final poll of the season. They were No. 1 all season long, marking the fifth time they were the top-ranked team for the entire year.
Tune in for the Selection Monday show tonight on WTIC, 7 to 9 p.m., with Bob Joyce and Joe D’Ambrosio.
“It’s hard to do it from wire to wire and we’ve been in that situation before and know how difficult it is,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.
“Given the schedule we played and things that happened to us, I’m pretty proud of what our team has accomplished. Our players have managed to play at a high level all season and as you watch more and more games being played out you see how hard it is to stay at that level. I think it’s well deserved.”
This is the 11th time that UConn has been on top to end the season. The next closest teams are Tennessee and Louisiana Tech with five each.
UConn (34-0) routed fourth-ranked Louisville in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Monday in its only game of the week.
Notre Dame (32-0) was second, ending the season in that position for the second consecutive year. The Huskies and Irish became the 13th and 14th teams to enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten. The tournament field will be announced Monday night.
It’s only the second time that two teams have entered the NCAAs unbeaten in the same season. Liberty and Tennessee did it in 1998 and played in the first round.
The Lady Vols finished third in this season’s final poll while Baylor was fifth.
Stanford, West Virginia, South Carolina, Duke, and Kentucky round out the first 10.
Southern Cal entered at No. 25, the school’s first appearance since 2011 while Bowling Green dropped out.
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