Home » Why South Carolina women’s basketball is still No. 1 in my AP Top 25 as UCLA rises | Adams

Why South Carolina women’s basketball is still No. 1 in my AP Top 25 as UCLA rises | Adams

COLUMBIA — If South Carolina women’s basketball played UCLA tomorrow and I was placing a bet, my money would be on the Bruins.

But though I believe UCLA (9-0) would win the head-to-head right now, the Gamecocks (9-0) remained in the No. 1 spot in my AP Top 25 poll after Week 5 for a very simple reason: They keep winning.

South Carolina’s 78-69 win over No. 7 Utah (8-2) on Sunday wasn’t pretty compared to UCLA’s 95-78 rout of No. 22 Florida State. The Gamecocks gave up a career-best 37 points to Utes star Alissa Pili and lost 15-plus turnovers for the third time in three games. The Bruins were led by a dominant performance from Stanford transfer Lauren Betts, who finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds. UCLA’s guards also impressed as Kiki Rice and Charisma Osborne combined for 29 points and 10 assists.

Deciding to keep South Carolina at No. 1 came down to voting philosophy. I believe resume has to be the biggest factor in deciding rankings this early in the season, and no one in the country has a resume like the Gamecocks. Among the nine undefeated teams ranked in the Top 25, South Carolina is the only one with multiple top-15 wins over No. 14 Notre Dame along with Utah. The Gamecocks also beat No. 25 North Carolina and Maryland, though the Terrapins have since fallen out of the poll.

UCLA’s ranked wins are both outside of the top 15 in No. 17 UConn and Florida State, and NC State is also in the mix with victories against UConn and No. 8 Colorado. The Gamecocks won’t see many ranked squads in conference play with the current state of the SEC — only two teams made this week’s poll — while UCLA and NC State currently have four and six conference opponents in the Top 25 respectively. South Carolina will need to be perfect coming out of the holiday break to hold onto its spot.

Emily Adams’ Week 5 AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll

  1. South Carolina (1)
  2. UCLA (2)
  3. NC State (3)
  4. Southern California (6)
  5. Iowa (4)
  6. Baylor (10)
  7. Texas (5)
  8. Colorado (8)
  9. Notre Dame (14)
  10. LSU (7)
  11. Kansas State (12)
  12. Utah (11)
  13. Stanford (9)
  14. Ohio State (12)
  15. Indiana (15)
  16. Louisville (18)
  17. UConn (17)
  18. Marquette (19)
  19. Virginia Tech (16)
  20. Gonzaga (21)
  21. Miami (24)
  22. UNLV (23)
  23. Florida State (22)
  24. TCU (RV)
  25. Washington (RV)

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