NEW YORK – Coach Tara VanDerveer and Stanford are new No. 1 in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll.
The cardinal rose to first place on Monday after South Carolina’s previous number 1 lost at home to then n. 8 NC State. Stanford received 24 of the 30 first-place votes from a national media panel.
The cardinal rose to first place almost at the same time last season and remained in that position for three weeks, the team’s first appearance there in seven years.
VanDerveer downplayed the importance of moving his team to number one in week 3 of the season.
“Classifications are important in March,” she said. “Let’s hope we are playing in March.”
Louisville moved up three places to second place – corresponding to the highest ranking in the school’s history – and received two votes for first place. UConn, who has not yet played because the Huskies were on pause due to concerns about the coronavirus, came in third, also receiving two first-place votes.
Wolfpack, who took the other two first place ballots, jumped four positions to fourth after the 54-46 victory over Gamecocks. South Carolina fell to fifth place.
Arizona, Baylor, Oregon, Kentucky and Texas A&M complete the top 10. Sixth place is the highest in Arizona history.
VanDerveer is about to make history on her own: with her next win, she’ll tie Pat Summitt’s all-time record of 1,098 wins. Where and when this can happen, however, is still in the air.
The cardinal had to move the opening of the Pac-12 over the weekend to Las Vegas due to Santa Clara County’s ban on sporting events and training for three weeks. They were supposed to play Washington State on Tuesday in Las Vegas, but the Cougars do not have enough stock market players available due to coronavirus protocols.
The next game listed on the cardinal’s schedule is Friday against UC Davis at home, then a game at Cal on Sunday.
“The pandemic, the situation we are in, really makes you appreciate every game,” said VanDerveer. “Each game is so precious and we are very excited to play it. We are here in Vegas; we don’t know what our schedule is. We are working on the phones, trying to get games.”
Here are other tips from this week’s poll.
The state of South Dakota is ranked for the first time in 11 years, entering the Top 25 in 22nd position, after being in first place. 18 Gonzaga in overtime on Sunday. The Jackrabbits also had a victory over the state of Iowa when the Cyclones were 15th in the country. It is the team’s first appearance on the poll since 2009. The Jackrabbits play against Kansas State on Thursday. The state of South Dakota replaced the state of Iowa, which gave up.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
In addition to the fall of South Carolina, Baylor fell three positions, UCLA fell two positions to 11th position and the State of Mississippi fell six positions to 12th after losing to South Florida.
Arkansas moved up three places to 13th after beating then no. 4 Baylor and Michigan moved up five positions to 19th position.
KEEP AN EYE ON
South Florida is out of the Top 25 after an overtime victory over the state of Mississippi. The Bulls went from one vote last week to 59 this week. Coach Jose Fernandez’s team also lagged behind Baylor, losing 67-62.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 8 Oregon at No. 15 Oregon State. It is a week of rivalry in Pac-12, and the first confrontation of these schools is on Sunday. The two teams meet again on February 28. These were two of the must-see games of the past few years.