Duke tops coaches' poll; Lady Vols move up to No. 2
No. 1 Duke has some new company at the top of the ESPN/USA Today women's basketball poll.
|The top five teams in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll:|
|• Complete ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.|
Tennessee moved into the No. 2 spot to replace North Carolina, which was upset by North Carolina State last week. The Tar Heels slipped to fourth, while Connecticut climbed one spot to third.
Ohio State (24-2) dropped from fifth to sixth after a home loss to Michigan State on Sunday ended its 17-game winning streak.
Duke (28-0) led the poll for the sixth consecutive week and was a unanimous pick for the second straight week, receiving all 31 first-place votes.
The Blue Devils beat Boston College and No. 5 Maryland -- their second victory of the season over the defending national champs, who moved up a spot from sixth -- to remain the nation's only unbeaten team and clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship.
Duke has one more challenging game to finish the regular season, at home Sunday against North Carolina. The Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels 64-53 in Chapel Hill on Feb. 8.
Tennessee (25-2) has won eight straight after beating No. 7 LSU 56-51 on Monday night. The Lady Vols' losses were to North Carolina and Duke.
After the trip to LSU, Tennessee has another big game Sunday at home against Vanderbilt. LSU plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday.
Connecticut (24-2) has won 10 straight since a Jan. 15 loss at North Carolina and has clinched at least a tie for the Big East regular-season championship.
North Carolina (26-2) started the week with a victory at Florida State but then lost to North Carolina State 72-65 in the first game on the newly dedicated "Kay Yow Court" in Reynolds Coliseum, named in honor of the Wolfpack's Hall of Fame coach.
The Tar Heels bounced back to rout Miami 93-70 on Sunday. They play at Wake Forest on Thursday before heading up the road to meet Duke.
Ohio State (24-2) routed Wisconsin before falling to Michigan State, its first loss in 31 games against Big Ten opponents.
No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 George Washington and No. 10 Stanford completed the top 10. George Washington hosts Temple on Sunday in a game that will decide the Atlantic 10 championship. Both are 12-0 in the league.
No. 11 Oklahoma stayed the same and No. 12 Georgia stayed the same, while Vanderbilt moved up a spot from No. 13 and into a tie with the Lady Bulldogs. No. 14 Baylor and No. 15 Purdue also remained the same, while No. 16 Bowling Green and No. 17 Middle Tennessee each moved up one spot. No. 18 Texas A&M fell from 16th to 18th after a 61-54 loss at unranked Iowa State on Wednesday, followed by No. 19 Marquette, which moved up two spots.
Michigan State made the biggest jump in the poll, climbing from 24th to 20th.
No. 21 Louisville; No. 22 Rutgers; No. 23 Wisconsin-Green Bay, which has won 18 straight; No. 24 Nebraska, which suffered two losses to unranked teams; and No. 25 James Madison held the final five places.
California (20-7), which had been 22nd, fell out of the poll after splitting a road trip, losing to Oregon 62-42 and beating Oregon State 67-61 in two overtimes.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.