Women’s college basketball power rankings: South Carolina jumps to No. 2, trails only top-ranked Louisville


Three teams in last week’s top 10 suffered defeats over the last week, as Baylor fell to Iowa State, Texas A&M lost to LSU and Stanford fell to Colorado. This caused some shake up to this week’s top 25 power rankings, but Louisville continues to play extremely good basketball and sits in the top spot for the seventh consecutive week.

Iowa State and Syracuse are back in the top 25 this week, while Georgia makes its first appearance. 

There are some big games to get ready for Thursday with two exciting Big Ten matchups. Ohio State will host Michigan and Iowa travels to Maryland in two important conference tilts. Thursday is highlighted, however, by a game between UConn and Tennessee. The Vols are the first team out of our top-25 this week, after a loss to Georgia, but Kellie Harper’s team is really good and should provide a strong test for the Huskies and Geno Auriemma.

Auriemma recently made history of his own garnering his 1,099th career win, passing late Tennessee coach Pat Summit on the Division I NCAA women’s all-time wins list.

Other big games we will be watching are Louisville-Syracuse, South Carolina-Georgia, and UCLA-Stanford, as we head into the end of January.

Below is our updated top 25, as we get set for another great weekend of college basketball.

Women’s Top 25 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (12-0)

Jeff Walz’s team continues to roll, as the Cardinals recorded easy wins over ACC competitors BC and Florida State this past week. Dana Evans and Hailey Van Lith continue to produce at a really high level. A big game Thursday looms with No. 20 Syracuse and another tough test will follow this weekend, as Louisville welcomes a very underrated Wake Forest team. Previous: 1

2. South Carolina (10-1)

South Carolina does have the lone loss to NC State, but there is no team in the country that can match the strength of its wins right now. The Gamecocks have ranked wins over Gonzaga, Iowa State, Arkansas, and Kentucky, and also hold wins over strong unranked teams such as South Dakota and Alabama. My preseason pick for National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston is playing her best basketball of the season right now, and Dawn Staley’s team can beat you in so many different ways. The Gamecocks host No. 24 Georgia Thursday in another tough SEC test. Previous: 4

3. NC State (10-0)

The Wolfpack still hasn’t played a game since Jan. 3, and while that did hold them back from moving into the top two following Stanford’s loss, it certainly will not move them down. They still have the best win of any team in the country with a road win over South Carolina, are deep, experienced, talented, and well-coached. TNC State is scheduled to return to action Thursday as they take on Florida State on the road. Previous: 3

4. Stanford (11-1)

Stanford suffered its first loss of the season last weekend at Colorado. I had the Cardinal at No. 2 and while they move down two spots, I’m not letting one road loss in a great conference skew my belief that the Cardinal are a top-five team right now–they are. With wins over Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona, their resume is still extremely strong. Haley Jones continues to play extremely well for Tara VanDerveer’s team, while Lexie Hull has also stepped up recently and provided another scoring punch. Stanford will host UCLA on Friday night in what should be a fantastic game, as the Bruins are playing great basketball as of late. Stanford beat UCLA by 12 in their first matchup earlier this season. Previous: 2

5. UConn (7-0)

UConn remains in the No. 5 spot this week, as it looks forward to playing its first game since Jan. 9. The big news for the Huskies is incoming freshman Saylor Poffenbarger, a member of the 2021 class, has graduated high school early and will be joining Geno Auriemma’s team for the remainder of the season. Poffenbarger could provide yet another scoring punch for UConn. The Huskies have certainly gotten better and better so far this season with their biggest game of the season coming Thursday as they take on Tennessee on the road. Previous: 5

6. Arizona (10-2)

The team that has impressed me the most over the past week or two has been Arizona. I’ve been high on the Wildcats since the preseason, picking them to make it to the Final Four, but I’ve also had some questions, most notably with their offense. I questioned their ability to score with some of the top scoring teams in the Pac 12. Following convincing wins over both Oregon and Oregon State, I’m not convinced they need to be able to do that. This team is terrific defensively and will score enough to be in every game. They suffered a tough loss to Washington State, but the Cougars are a good team. I learned more about Adia Barnes’ team in their two recent dominating wins than in their close loss. Previous: 12

7. Texas A&M (13-1)

Texas A&M suffered its first defeat of the season last weekend, as it succumbed to a game LSU team on the road. The Aggies, who have truly impressed me this season, could have very well have fallen into a trap game in Baton Rouge, coming off of a tight one-point road win over Arkansas, with another big game against Mississippi State on the horizon. The Aggies responded to the loss to LSU quite well, with a 28-point win over the Bulldogs. Gary Blair’s team, led by seniors Aaliyah Wilson and Kayla Wells, are set up nicely for a strong finish to the regular season. Their last game of the regular season against South Carolina could be for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Previous: 6

8. Maryland (11-1)

Maryland is coming off of some nice road wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin, but outside of its early-season wins over Arkansas and Rutgers, I’m still waiting to see how it  handles some of the tougher teams they have coming up. We will learn the answer to that quickly, as the Terps get set to host Iowa and freshman sensation Caitlin Clark on Thursday. Brenda Frese’s team will follow that game up with a trip to Columbus to take on Ohio State, before hosting Rutgers, in what will be its toughest stretch remaining in the regular season. Previous: 8

9. UCLA (8-2)

Core Close has her team playing extremely well as of late, highlighted by solid wins over Washington State and Oregon. The Bruins’ only losses have come to Stanford and Arizona, and they will have a chance to avenge both of those defeats in the next two weeks. The first one comes Friday, as they travel to take on Stanford. Michaela Onyenwere has been one of the best players in the country this season and when Onyenwere and Charisma Osborne both score the ball at a high rate, the Bruins are good enough defensively to beat any team in the country. That said, I can’t overstate the importance of Onyenwere and Osborne on the offensive end of the floor. They need to produce and they have been. Previous: 10

10. Michigan (10-0)

The Wolverines move down one spot this week, but that’s more due to how well UCLA and Arizona have been playing more than anything else. Michigan hasn’t played in a week, but have a big conference road matchup Thursday vs. Ohio State, which will mark its toughest test since playing Northwestern about a month ago. Naz Hillmon has been terrific for Michigan and that will need to continue for the Wolverines to defeat a hungry Buckeyes team coming off of a difficult road loss of their own at Nebraska. Previous: 9

Team Record Previous
11. Kentucky 10-3 13
12. Oregon 9-3 11
13. Baylor 10-1 7
14. USF 10-1 17
15. Indiana 8-3 19
16. Arkansas 11-5 16
17. Ohio State 7-1 14
18. Iowa State 9-4 NR
19. DePaul 8-3 20
20. Syracuse 7-1 NR
21. Northwestern 7-2 23
22. Gonzaga 12-2 24
23. Mississippi State 8-4 15
24. Georgia 12-1 NR
25. South Dakota St. 11-2 25

First five out: Tennessee, Washington State, Missouri State, Texas, and South Dakota

Who fell out? Tennessee, Washington State, and Texas

Who entered? Iowa State, Syracuse, and Georgia





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