2000-2001 Final AP Top 25

March 12, 2001

Connecticut has come full circle in The Associated Press women'sbasketball poll.

The Huskies started the season at No. 1, dropped out of the leadafter a mid-season loss to Notre Dame, then made it back to the top Monday in thefinal poll.

'They've got to make somebody number one, so they made us,' UConncoach Geno Auriemma said.

Connecticut (28-2) regained the No. 1 spot after beating last week'sleader, Notre Dame, in the championship game of the Big East tournament. The Huskiesreceived 32 of a possible 40 first-place votes from the national media paneland had 990 points.

Notre Dame (28-2) slipped to second, with five first-place votes and951 points. Tennessee (29-2) remained third with three first-place votes and 934points.

All three are seeded No. 1 in their regions in the NCAA tournament -UConn in the East, Notre Dame in the Midwest and Tennessee in the Mideast.

Fifth-ranked Duke is the top seed in the West. Georgia, fourth inthe poll, is seeded second in the East.

Connecticut will try to repeat as the national champion without itstwo first-team All-Americans from last year, Svetlana Abrosimova and Shea Ralph.Abrosimova has been out since Feb. 1 with a torn ligament in her left foot.Ralph tore the ACL in her left knee in the Big East final.

The Huskies are still deep in talented players, but their margin forerror will be smaller in a tough region that not only has Georgia but No. 6Louisiana Tech, No. 19 North Carolina State, No. 21 Penn State and No. 24 Wisconsin.

'I think if everybody does a little bit, we'll be fine,' Auriemmasaid. 'If someone tries to do more than they're capable of doing, I think that'sgoing to mess us up.'

This is the fourth time in the last seven years that Connecticut hadled the final poll. The Huskies also finished the season at No. 1 in 1995, 1997 andlast year. The only time they did not win the national championship as theNo. 1 team was 1997, when Tennessee beat them in a regional final.

Louisiana Tech's ranking at No. 6 was the same as last week.Oklahoma stayed at No. 7 and was followed by Iowa State, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Iowa Statemoved up five places from 13th, the biggest jump within the poll, afterbeating Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

Rutgers, which lost to Connecticut in the Big East semifinals, fellthree places to 11th and Xavier held at No. 12. Then it was Texas Tech, Florida,Southwest Missouri State and Iowa, followed by Utah, LSU, North CarolinaState and Colorado.

Penn State, Clemson, Baylor, Wisconsin, Arizona State and VirginiaTech completed the list. Arizona State and Virginia Tech, the only newcomers,were tied at 25th.

Arizona State (20-10), which shared the Pac-10 title with Stanfordand Washington, returned to the poll after being out for one week.

Virginia Tech (21-8) made it for the first time this season andbecame the 40th team to be ranked. The Hokies tied for fourth in the Big East andreached the conference tournament semifinals.

Washington, 22nd last week, dropped out after finishing the regularseason with road losses to USC and UCLA. A victory against either would havegiven the Huskies (19-9) the Pac-10 championship outright.

Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame were among 15 teams thatstayed in the Top 25 all season. The others were Georgia, Duke, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma,Iowa State, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Southwest MissouriState, LSU and Penn State.

By CHUCK SCHOFFNER
AP Sports Writer

The Women's Top Twenty FiveBy The Associated Press

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketballpoll,with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 11, totalpointsbased on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-placevote and last week's ranking:

                        Record  Pts  Pv 1. Connecticut (32)     28-2   990   2 2. Notre Dame (5)       28-2   951   1 3. Tennessee (3)        29-2   934   3 4. Georgia              26-5   860   4 5. Duke                 28-3   851   5 6. Louisiana Tech       28-4   778   6 7. Oklahoma             26-5   722   7 8. Iowa St.             25-5   715  13 9. Purdue               26-6   642   910. Vanderbilt           21-9   618  1011. Rutgers              22-7   598   812. Xavier               28-2   566  1213. Texas Tech           23-6   522  1114. Florida              23-5   492  1515. SW Missouri St.      25-5   399  1616. Iowa                 20-9   374  1717. Utah                 26-3   371  1418. LSU                  19-10  303  1819. N.C. State           20-10  287  1820. Colorado             21-8   236  2021. Penn St.             19-9   161  2122. Clemson              20-9   120  2323. Baylor               21-8   85   2424. Wisconsin            18-9   82   2525. Arizona St.          20-10  35    -25. Virginia Tech        21-8   35    -

Others receiving votes: Drake 30, Stanford 29, Villanova 29, ColoradoSt.27, Toledo 24, Washington 23, Michigan 15, Idaho St. 14, St. Mary's, Cal.14,Texas 14, TCU 11, Missouri 10, Arkansas 8, George Washington 7, UC SantaBarbara 5, Florida St. 4, Tulane 4, Arizona 3, Virginia 2.

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