Women’s college basketball ballot breakdown | Harmon, Texas move up

Women’s college basketball ballot breakdown | Harmon, Texas move up

THE NEWS-GAZETTE’S TOP 25

Before the full AP Top 25 women’s rankings are revealed around 11 a.m. on Monday, here’s The News-Gazette’s Top 25 ballot, as voted by women’s college basketball and Illini beat writer Joe Vozzelli, with his previous rankings for each team also listed:

1. South Carolina 1

2. UCLA 2

3. Iowa 4

4. North Carolina State 5

5. LSU 7

6. Texas 12

7. Colorado 6

8. Southern California 10

9. Stanford 3

10. Utah 11

11. Virginia Tech 9

12. Baylor 13

13. Notre Dame 14

14. Connecticut 8

15. Ohio State 16

16. Kansas State 17

17. Indiana 18

18. Florida State 15

19. Louisville 22

20. Marquette 24

21. North Carolina 25

22. Washington State NR

23. Gonzaga NR

24. Arkansas NR

25. Creighton NR

Who’s up

Texas. The Longhorns were 0-10 against Connecticut. Until Sunday. And Rori Harmon had her hands all over it. The Texas junior point guard ended the program’s 0-fer against the Huskies and was the best player on the floor at the Moody Center in an 80-68 win in Austin, Texas. Most impressive is how Harmon handled her individual battle with UConn star Paige Bueckers, whom the Houston native was tasked with defending. Bueckers had 13 points — it took 11 shot attempts to reach that total — while Harmon finished with 27 points, 13 assists and five rebounds. It was the biggest win of the season for Vic Schaefer’s team, with the Longhorns’ other eight wins coming against Southern, Liberty, UT Arlington, Louisiana Tech, Arizona State, High Point, South Florida and Oral Roberts. Not exactly murderers’ row.

Who’s down

Mississippi and Mississippi State. The SEC had an up-and-down week. South Carolina survived a close call at North Carolina, while LSU and Arkansas had impressive wins in the SEC/ACC Challenge. On the flip side, it wasn’t a good week for the three other SEC teams ranked in last week’s AP Top 25. Ole Miss, Tennessee and Mississippi State were ranked 19th through 21st, respectively, and went a combined 0-6 this past week. That the Volunteers lost to No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 16 Ohio State could be considered understandable. One of the Rebels’ losses falls into that same category, as well, with No. 22 Louisville earning a 64-58 win in Oxford, Miss. But losing to Southern Miss — in Hattiesburg, Miss., no less — was a bad look for Ole Miss. The Bulldogs also lost their SEC/ACC Challenge game (at home to unranked Miami) before following that up with an ugly 59-53 loss at Chattanooga. Both coaching staffs might want to consider rethinking their nonconference scheduling.

What to watch

Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase. Sunday’s tripleheader at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., should be a fun one, starting off with UCLA and Florida State (11 a.m., ESPN2) before a Utah-South Carolina matchup (1:30 p.m., ESPN) and lastly, UConn vs. North Carolina (4 p.m., ESPN). The middle game is probably the top pick here, considering it could be a top-10 showdown with the Gamecocks the No. 1 team in the country for a fourth consecutive week amid a 7-0 start to the season. The Utes are still looking for a signature win. Utah lost its only matchup against a high-major opponent with Baylor collecting a 84-77 victory over the Utes on Nov 14 in Waco, Texas. This is a chance for Alissa Pili and Co. to show Utah was worthy of its top-five preseason ranking.

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