March 16, 2015

Another year, another No. 1 finish for UConn.

The Huskies topped The Associated Press women's basketball final poll Monday, ending where they started. They were the unanimous choice, marking the 12th time that Connecticut has topped the last Top 25 of the season, extending the Huskies' record. Tennessee and Louisiana Tech have both done it five years.

''Obviously those kinds of things are amazing when you look back and think about them,'' coach Geno Auriemma said. ''I don't think you run around and have a big celebration because you finish No. 1 in the AP poll, but it is a sign of how consistent we have been, and how our players, year in and year out, are able to play at a really high level throughout the entire season.''

UConn's only blemish came early in the season at Stanford. The Huskies haven't lost since, reclaiming the top spot for the final five weeks after beating then-No. 1 South Carolina on Feb. 9.

The Huskies are followed by Notre Dame, South Carolina, Maryland and Baylor. Tennessee, Florida State, Louisville, Arizona State and Oregon State round out the first 10. Undefeated Princeton finished in 13th.

South Florida was rewarded for its 14-point loss to UConn in the American Athletic Conference final last Monday. The Bulls re-entered the poll at No. 25.

Other tidbits from the final poll:

UNBEATEN: Princeton became the 15th team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated and finished the season at No. 13 in the poll. It's the highest ranking ever for an Ivy League women's team. The Princeton men's team in 1997-98 climbed up to eighth.

''We have such pride and pleasure to know that regardless of what happens in this magical month of March that our body of work at the end of the year got us the No. 13 ranking in the entire country,'' coach Courtney Banghart said.

SECOND FIDDLE: Notre Dame finished second for the third straight year. It's the fourth time in school history that Notre Dame was the runner-up in the final poll. Notre Dame, which won the ACC regular-season and conference tournament titles for the second consecutive year, has never been ranked No. 1 at season's end.

CONFERENCE SUPREMECY: The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference led all leagues with five teams in the final poll. The Pac-12 and Big Ten are next with four teams each. The Big 12 had only No. 5 Baylor in the Top 25.

BACK IN THE POLL: South Florida entered the Top 25 again this week after losing its only game to UConn. Three of the Bulls' seven losses this season came to the Huskies, with each game closer than the previous one.


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