Notre Dame’s 12-year run in women’s AP Top 25 is over
NEW YORK (AP) — Notre Dame’s 12-year run in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll is over.
The Fighting Irish fell out of the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season, stopping a streak of 234 consecutive weeks being ranked. It was the third longest active streak behind UConn’s (492) and Baylor’s (302).
While the Irish dropped out of the rankings, Oregon remained No. 1. The Ducks received 27 of the 29 first-place votes.
Baylor was second, receiving the other two first-place votes, followed by Stanford, Connecticut and South Carolina. The Gamecocks moved up one spot, switching places with No. 6 Texas A&M. Oregon State, Louisville, Maryland and Mississippi State round out the top 10.
Muffet McGraw’s team lost at home to Tennessee and Michigan State this week, marking the first time since 2008 that Notre Dame dropped two consecutive games in South Bend, Indiana. Tennessee’s victory was the first time that a team other than UConn had beaten the Fighting Irish at home since 2012. The win helped the Lady Vols get ranked for the first time this year (No. 23). Tennessee owns the longest streak of being ranked, remaining in the AP Top 25 for 565 consecutive weeks before falling out in 2016.
It’s no surprise that the Irish are struggling this season, with McGraw’s team losing players with more than 10,000 points to the WNBA and a few of the other top returning players transferring before the season. Notre Dame took another hit when sophomore guard Abby Prohaska was ruled out indefinitely before the season started because of blood clots in her lungs.
Notre Dame could return to the rankings with a victory at No. 21 Michigan on Saturday.
Gonzaga, Tennessee and West Virginia entered the poll this week, with Arizona State and Texas also dropping out. The Longhorns had the seventh longest active streak (77).
Here are a few other tidbits from the Top 25:
GOING STREAKING: With the Irish’s streak over, Maryland moved up to No. 3 on the active list with 177 consecutive weeks ranked. South Carolina is fourth with 131. Mississippi State is fifth with 97.
IMPRESSIVE IN DEFEAT: It’s rare that teams can enter the AP Top 25 coming off a loss, especially teams from non-Power Five conferences, but No. 23 Gonzaga did just that after an overtime defeat at No. 3 Stanford on Sunday. The Zags have been one of the top mid-major programs over the last decade and were ranked for the final 16 weeks of the poll last season. Gonzaga beat Tennessee-Martin earlier in the week.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Oregon will get its first road test of the season, heading to No. 17 Syracuse on Sunday. The Ducks went 3-0 at home this week, winning by an average of 45 points. The Orange have won their first three games at home by an average of 16 points.
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