Texas Baylor Basketball

Baylor guard Darianna Littlepage-Buggs (5) reaches back while grabbing the ball over Texas guard Shaylee Gonzales in the second half of Sunday’s game in Waco, Texas.

For the first time in the 47-year history of The Associated Press women’s basketball poll no team from Texas is in the Top 25.

The Texas Longhorns fell out of Monday’s poll, ending a 835-week run that had at least one team from the Lone Star state in the rankings. From Wayland Baptist, Stephen F. Austin and Baylor appearing in the first poll in 1976 to Texas’ No. 25 ranking last week, there has always been at least one team from the state in the poll until now.

“Texas is the oil state and also has certainly been rich in women’s basketball as well,” said Mel Greenberg, who started the poll in the 1976-77 season while with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “When I started, the state had some of the best teams with Wayland and Stephen F. Austin. Then Jody (Conradt) at Texas and eventually Kim (Mulkey) at Baylor continued the tradition.”

Middle Tennessee entered the rankings for the first time in nine years at No. 23. The Blue Raiders (16-2) have won 14 consecutive games, including a victory over Louisville, which is the fourth-longest winning streak in the country behind the last three unbeaten teams.

That group is topped by No. 1 South Carolina (20-0), which has 26 consecutive victories dating to its run to the NCAA championship last season. The Gamecocks, who were again a unanimous choice from the 28-member national media panel, have been ranked atop the poll for 31 consecutive weeks — the fourth-longest streak ever. Only UConn (51 and 34 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) have had longer runs at No. 1.

Ohio State (19-0) remained No. 2 behind the Gamecocks going into a week that includes games against No. 11 Iowa and sixth-ranked Indiana.

Stanford flipped places with LSU for No. 3 after beating then- No. 8 Utah and No. 25 Colorado, which dropped a spot after the loss. LSU (19-0) is fourth and UConn fifth.

Notre Dame, UCLA, Utah followed the sixth-ranked Hoosiers. Maryland and Iowa were tied for 10th.

The Blue Raiders are making their first appearance in the A( Top 25 since the final rankings in 2014 when coach Rick Insell’s team was 22nd.

“We’ve got a special group,” Insell said. “This year, we were able to beat (Louisville) which was a big win that showed we had a pretty good basketball team.”

Insell credits his team’s run to the WNIT semifinals last year for being a springboard to this season’s success.

“It’s big to be able to take your team in there,” he said. “I’m fortunate I had a young team, give them that type of competition. You’ll have good crowds and it’s an atmosphere you can build on. That’s what we’ve done with that. That’s why we’re at where we are.”

Florida State entered the poll at No. 24, its first ranking since 2021. Oregon fell out.

LONE STAR STRUGGLES

Baylor and Texas have been carrying the state flag over the past two decades in the women’s Top 25; at least one had been ranked every week since Dec. 4, 2000. Teams from the state have won six NCAA titles (Baylor has three while Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Texas each have one). At one point over the last 47 years, at least one of these teams had been ranked until the current poll: Baylor, Houston, Lamar, Rice, Stephen F. Austin, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UTEP and Wayland Baptist.

STREAKING

With Texas’ run over, Connecticut now owns the longest active run for a state thanks to the Huskies, who have appeared in 557 consecutive polls. California has the longest run for a state with more than one different team being ranked: 412 consecutive weeks, with Stanford, California and UCLA all spending time in the Top 25 over that stretch dating to the preseason poll in 2001.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ women’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, and total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking.

RecordPtsPrv

1. South Carolina (28) 20-0 700 1 2. Ohio St. 19-0 669 2 3. Stanford 19-2 615 4 4. LSU 19-0 603 3 5. UConn 17-2 596 5 6. Indiana 17-1 584 6 7. Notre Dame 16-2 541 7 8. UCLA 17-3 448 9 9. Utah 16-2 430 8 10. Iowa 15-4 425 10 10. Maryland 16-4 425 11 12. Virginia Tech 16-3 403 12 13. Michigan 16-3 352 14 14. Oklahoma 16-2 304 15 15. North Carolina 14-5 298 17 16. Duke 17-2 281 13 17. Gonzaga 19-2 259 16 18. Iowa St. 13-4 221 18 19. Arizona 15-4 201 19 20. NC State 15-5 171 20 21. Villanova 18-3 145 22 22. Illinois 16-4 103 21 23. Middle Tennessee 16-2 64 - 24. Florida St. 18-4 57 - 25. Colorado 15-4 56 24

Others receiving votes: Tennessee 47, Texas 35, South Florida 31, Southern Cal 22, Oregon 10, Arkansas 2, UNLV 1, Alabama 1.

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