By DOUG FEINBERG
AP Basketball Writer
South Carolina remained No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll and is now one of three unbeaten teams left.
The New Year began with seven undefeated teams, but only South Carolina, No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Baylor remain.
The Gamecocks (14-0) received 34 of the 35 first-place ballots Monday after beating Florida and Mississippi State last week. UCLA (14-0) garnered the other No. 1 vote and was second in the Top 25 once again. Iowa moved up to third after previously unbeaten N.C. State lost in the last second to Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack fell to sixth.
Baylor (14-0) jumped up two spots after topping previously undefeated TCU and Houston.
Colorado was fifth. LSU, which won at Mississippi on Sunday in front of a program-record crowd of 9,074 for the Rebels, was No. 7 behind N.C. State and Stanford, USC and Texas rounded out the top 10.
Virginia Tech moved up two spots to 11th, leapfrogging Kansas State and UConn. The Hokies’ two losses this season have come to Iowa on a neutral court and at LSU.
IN AND OUT
After wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame, North Carolina re-entered the Top 25 one week after dropping out. The Tar Heels, who were the only team to beat two ranked opponents last week, came in at No. 20. UNLV also returned to the poll at No. 25.
Syracuse and TCU fell out. The Horned Frogs also lost star Sedona Prince indefinitely to a hand injury. TCU had won its first 14 games, the best start in school history, before losing to Baylor.
UNBEATEN NO MORE
West Virginia and Oregon State were the other two undefeated teams heading into 2024. The 24th-ranked Mountaineers fell to Texas last week and the Beavers were swept by USC and UCLA.
No. 18 Notre Dame got a lift from the return of Sonia Citron from a nine-game absence due to a knee injury. She had 18 points in a loss to North Carolina on Sunday. Notre Dame is still without guard Olivia Miles, who tore her ACL last season.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer won her 1,200th game on Sunday, a victory over Washington. In 44 years as a head coach, VanDerveer has won three NCAA titles. She surpassed former Tennessee coach Pat Summit in 2021 as the women’s career victories leader and sits two behind former Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski for most all-time in college basketball.
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