Women’s Basketball Classification: Stanford is new number 1 in Power 10

There’s a new team # 1 and a wave of movement in my Power 10 ratings for Week 2 of the women’s college basketball season.

First, here’s my top 10 (with last week’s rating in parentheses):

  1. Stanford (3)
  2. UConn (2)
  3. South Carolina (1)
  4. Louisville (5)
  5. NC State (8)
  6. Baylor (5)
  7. Arizona (7)
  8. Oregon (9)
  9. Kentucky (10)
  10. Mississippi State (6)

Let’s break it down.

NC State takes South Carolina off the throne and into the Top 5

NC State victory over South Carolina's No. 1

Undefeated Stanford is my new number 1, taking over South Carolina after NC State beat Gamecocks’ 29-game streak. The 3-0 Cardinal keeps opponents below 55 points per game, which, coincidentally, would have been almost enough for South Carolina in the loss to NC State. Instead, Wolfpack prevailed, 54-46.

NC State kept South Carolina with a 27 percent shot, stripped off the paint and forced the Gamecocks to 11 laps. This consistent defense made the difference and the reason why I’m moving Wolfpack to 5th place in this week’s ranking. South Carolina is still a formidable team, but it dropped two places to third.

We haven’t seen UConn play yet due to a positive COVID-19 test within the program, but the Huskies remain in second place.

RECAP: How NC State beat South Carolina in a clash between the top ten women in basketball

Baylor falls after being beaten by Arkansas

I moved Louisville to fourth place and put Baylor in fifth after the current national champions were surprised by Arkansas.

Bears scored 44 points on the paint line and won the rebound game, but turned the ball 22 times.

Baylor also found himself in trouble with the lack of three important players: Queen Egbo, DiJonai Carrington and Sarah Andrews. This is a credit to Arkansas to relentlessly attack the basket and get to the stripe. The Razorbacks hit 30 out of 39 on the free throw line.

Carrington’s graduation transfer stepped up for the Bears and dropped 24 points. NaLyssa Smith also had 16 points and seven rebounds, but it was not enough to do the job against the Razorbacks.

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Mississippi State falls to tenth position after turning south in Florida

The state of Mississippi was previously No. 6 on my Power 10, but drops to No. 10 after being upset by South Florida not qualified in overtime, 67-63. This was the first time that the Bulls defeated a qualified opponent, and they also gave Baylor a run for his money earlier in the week.

The Bulldogs battled 21 turnovers. South Florida converted those errors to 25 points. Although the state of Mississippi has three players scoring in double digits – Rickea Jackson (18), Jessika Carter (15) and Aliyah Matharu (17) – the Bulldogs fought behind the three-point line. They hit 15 percent deep and also gave up 23 offensive rebounds.

To complete my Power 10, Arizona remains at No. 7, while Oregon and Kentucky rise to No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Both the Ducks and the Wildcats started the season strong, with a 4-0 record.