South Carolina tops AP women's basketball poll; top 14 unchanged

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With most teams on exam break, there wasn't much movement in The Associated Press women's basketball poll.

The first 14 teams in the Top 25 remained unchanged this week. Top-ranked South Carolina won its lone game by 62 points with a rout of Savannah State. The Gamecocks did pick up two first-place ballots and now are the top choice on 25 of the 35. It's the fourth straight week that they are No. 1 in the poll.

Connecticut, Texas, Texas A&M and Notre Dame round out the first five.

Some notes from this week's poll:

ACADEMICS: The most common opponent next to Top 25 teams this past week was Did Not Play. Six schools, led by No. 2 UConn, had the week off for exam break. Louisville, Duke, Oregon State, Georgia and Oklahoma State were off too. They all get back into basketball mode this week.

SOFT SCHEDULING: The Top 25 teams went 25-3 this past week with only two games between ranked opponents. No. 5 Notre Dame escaped No. 25 DePaul with an overtime victory. No. 11 Tennessee topped 17th-ranked Rutgers in an entertaining low-scoring game. Then-No. 18 Cal took the other loss, falling to Long Beach State in OT. The other ranked teams won by an average of nearly 26 points. Had the Golden Bears not lost, odds are the only change in the poll would have been No. 15 Georgia and 16th-ranked Oregon State flipping places.

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER TIE: It wouldn't be a Top 25 poll this season without a tie. For the sixth straight week, there was one. The preseason poll had two teams at No. 24. Week 1 had a three-way tie for No. 24. Then there was a three-way tie at No. 22 with Georgia, Syracuse and West Virginia sharing the honors. Arkansas and DePaul were both No. 25 the following week. Oklahoma State and Syracuse both moved up one spot this week to 19th from their previous tie at 20.

UPCOMING MATCHUPS: Action picks up with teams coming out of exams. Sixth-ranked North Carolina hosts No. 16 Oregon State on Tuesday. No. 7 Stanford makes an eastern swing with games against Chattanooga and 11th-ranked Tennessee. DePaul coach Doug Bruno continues his tough non-conference schedule, facing No. 2 UConn on Friday. The Blue Demons will have played the second-, fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in the country.


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