Vandy into top 10; Middle Tennessee joins poll

Updated: January 2, 2007, 2:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Vanderbilt (13-1), which has won five straight games since losing to Duke on Dec. 7, joined the top 10 in the latest ESPN/USA Today women's college basketball poll.

Poll Positions
The top five teams in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll:
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Complete ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

The top nine teams remained the same. ACC powers Maryland (15-0), North Carolina (15-0) and Duke (14-0) held the top three spots for the second straight week and shared all the first-place votes.

Tennessee (12-1) was fourth, followed by Connecticut (11-0), LSU (13-1), Oklahoma (10-1), Ohio State (11-1), Baylor (13-1) and Vanderbilt (13-1).

There's likely to be some change in that group next week because Tennessee and Connecticut meet in their annual clash at Hartford on Saturday. Also, Maryland hosts No. 18 Michigan State (11-2) on Saturday, and LSU entertains No. 15 Georgia (12-1) on Sunday.

Maryland, which has been No. 1 all season, received 29 of 31 first-place votes from a national media panel. North Carolina and Duke each received one first-place vote.

There are only two other unbeatens in Division I -- Connecticut and No. 13 Louisville (15-0).

The first time any of the ACC leaders face each other will be Jan. 13, when Maryland plays at Duke.

Georgia fell five places to 15th after going 1-1 at a tournament in San Diego, losing to No. 16 George Washington (11-2) and beating Brown.

In other games between ranked teams this week, No. 23 Arkansas (15-1) plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday, No. 21 Cal (10-3) hosts No. 12 Stanford (9-3) on Saturday, and No. 20 Marquette (13-1) travels to No. 24 DePaul (11-3) on Saturday.

Middle Tennessee State (10-3) was the only newly ranked team this week, replacing New Mexico.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.