By Tracy Schultz
December 02, 2008

Another week brings another shakeup in the top 10 of the power rankings. As teams behind them fell, three managed to stay put. There's no doubt that Connecticut was the most impressive. A 106-78 win over Oklahoma on Sunday gave the Huskies a firmer hold on the top spot. North Carolina and California are hanging in at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

NCAA Women's Hoops Power Rankings
1 Connecticut Huskies
Last Week: 1
The Huskies have a pack mentality when it comes to scoring. With four starters averaging double digits, everyone gets involved, which is why they're so tough to defend as we saw in their drubbing of No. 4 Oklahoma Sunday. It's no wonder UConn (94.8 ppg) is the top scoring team in the nation and shouldn't have any trouble in its upcoming matchups.
Next three: 12/3 vs. Holy Cross; 12/14 vs. Penn State; 12/18 vs. Washington
2 North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Week: 2
It's nice to see the Tar Heels breaking up the light part of their schedule with a few big-name programs. They've already handled Oklahoma. While the Big Ten isn't what it used to be, Ohio State is always a challenge.
Next three: 12/3 at Ohio State; 12/13 vs. Coastal Carolina; 12/15 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff
3 California Golden Bears
Last Week: 3
The Golden Bears picked up a few souvenirs during last week's trip to the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands. What's better than a good tan in the winter? Three wins and the return of Pac-10 Player of Year Devanei Hampton.
Next three:
12/6 vs. Princeton; 12/7 vs. TCU/Saint Louis; 12/12 at San Jose State
4 Texas A&M Aggies
Last Week: 7
Texas A&M will finally play at home Sunday after six straight road games. While the Aggies didn't blow anyone out during their travels, they have experienced close games that should pay off in a tight Big 12 race.
Next three: 12/2 at SFA; 12/07 vs. SMU; 12/13 vs. Texas State
5 Stanford Cardinal
Last Week: 8
Stanford has pulled things together, winning five straight since an 81-65 loss at Baylor. Those wins didn't come against a lightweight schedule, either. Rutgers, Purdue and Iowa State were all top 25 teams.
Next three: 12/13 vs. Fresno State; 12/16 at Duke; 12/19 at South Carolina
6 Tennessee Volunteers
Last Week: 9
The Lady Vols are at full strength for the first time this season. The return of 6-6 Kelly Cain has bolstered Tennessee's inside game. Cain had 12 points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes in last week's 88-67 win over DePaul.
Next three: 12/02 at George Washington; 12/11 vs. Middle Tennessee State; 12/14 at Texas
7 Maryland Terrapins
Last Week: 10
Maryland has regrouped since falling to TCU in mid-November. Winners of six straight, the Terrapins are about to face bigger challenges, though. A pair of ranked opponents is coming up in the next week in Purdue and Pittsburgh.
Next three: 12/4 at Purdue; 12/7 at Pittsburgh; 12/9 at Loyola
8 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 5
There was a bright spot in the Sooners' 106-78 loss at UConn. Ashley Paris is in the best shape of her career and is moving down the floor with ease and becoming a real force for the Sooners. It's now Ashley Paris that leads OU in scoring with 15.6 points a game, just ahead of her sister, Courtney.
Next three: 12/3 vs. Creighton; 12/7 at Arkansas State; 12/12 vs. Cal State Bakersfield at San Jose
9 Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 11
The Longhorns will enjoy a week off before heading into a tough part of the schedule. They've built confidence and momentum with wins against a schedule that included a few softies as well as Old Dominion and Georgia Tech. They'll have a big opportunity, playing host to Tennessee in less than two weeks.
Next three: 12/7 at Mississippi; 12/14 vs. Tennessee; 12/18 vs. Arizona State
10 Baylor Bears
Last Week: 4
Maybe the Big Ten is better than expected. Maybe not. One thing is for sure. Whether it's against Wisconsin, who handed the Bears their first loss, 59-58, or anyone else, you won't win many games shooting 0-for-6 beyond the arc or 63 percent from the free-throw line.
Next three: 12/6 vs. St. John's; 12/8 vs. Lamar; 12/13 vs. Samford
11 Louisville Cardinals
Last Week: 6
Angel McCoughtry became the first Louisville player to hit the 2,000 point and 1,000 rebound mark in a 85-82 loss to Nevada. She also showed how badly the Cardinals need her. Louisville saw a nine-point lead turn into a three-point halftime deficit with McCoughtry on the bench in foul trouble.
Next three: 12/4 at Middle Tennessee State; 12/7 vs. Ball State; 12/10 vs. Hartford
12 Auburn Tigers
Last Week: 12
While teams fall around them, the Tigers just keep on rolling. Whitney Bodie has managed to get everyone involved in the offense and ranks ninth in the nation with 6.5 assists a game.
Next three: 12/3 vs. North Carolina A&T; 12/5 vs. Sam Houston State; 12/7 at Liberty
13 Duke Blue Devils
Last Week: 13
Duke was a little shaky last Friday, barely holding off Western Kentucky for a 59-56 win. Turning the ball over 21 times and going 1-for -10 from three-point range will be tough to overcome in the ACC.
Next three: 12/4 vs. Iowa; 12/7 vs. Michigan; 12/16 vs. Stanford
14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Last Week: 14
Rutgers is relying heavily on veteran starters. Kia Vaughn didn't come off the floor in Monday's 64-60 win over Temple, which ended a two-game losing streak. She was one of just five players that logged more than nine minutes. Get past Georgia, and the Scarlet Knights face a three-game stretch that should provide opportunities for their rookies.
Next three: 12/8 vs. Georgia; 12/11 vs. Prairie View A&M; 12/14 vs. Army at N.Y
15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Week: 15
The Irish have built up such depth that two of their top five scorers are coming off the bench. Brittany Mallory is averaging 11.5 points and Erica Solomon is contributing 9.8 a game. The bench was the difference in Notre Dame's win over Michigan State as it outscored the Spartans' reserves 32-15.
Next three: 12/2 at Eastern Michigan; 12/7 vs. Purdue; 12/10 at Michigan
16 Vanderbilt Commodores
Last Week: 16
Coming off wins over Davidson and Virginia Tech, the Commodores are set up to keep on winning over this next stretch. Their next three opponents have a combined record of 4-11.
Next three: 12/2 vs. Radford; 12/4 at Cal State Fullerton; 12/6 at UC Riverside

You May Like