Several teams remain unbeaten through the early weeks of the season, but two have really separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Tennessee is beating opponents by an average of 27 points. Connecticut is winning by an even more impressive 40 points a game. That's not against an easy schedule, either.
The Huskies kicked off their holiday season by beating Stanford and Duke. That's why they are still second in our rankings, trailing only the defending national champs.
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Tennessee Lady Vols (4-0)
Still rolling. Coach Pat Summitt noted how pleased she was with her team's defensive intensity after wins over Texas and West Virginia. She has good reason to be happy: The Lady Vols have held each of their first four opponents to less than 70 points. These early games have also enabled the Lady Vols to work in their younger players, which can only benefit them down the road.
Next three: 11/26 vs. Louisiana Tech, 12/02 vs. North Carolina; 12/05 vs. Old Dominion
UConn Huskies (3-0)
She's got a long way to go to match Courtney Paris, but freshman Maya Moore has a double-double in each of her first five games with the Huskies. Her performances are a big reason Connecticut knocked off a pair of top 10 teams last week. Too bad we'll have to wait until tournament time to see the Huskies take on No. 1.
Next three: 11/29 vs. BYU; 12/05 vs. Virginia; 12/17 vs. South Carolina
Maryland Terrapins (8-0)
The Terrapins have shown they can win without All-America Crystal Langhorne. On Sunday, they proved they can get the job done even when coach Brenda Frese is missing. No doubt, Frese, who is pregnant with twins and stayed home on the advice of her doctor, took advantage of the modern wonder that is satellite TV to catch the Terrapins' win over UCLA. What she saw was a team that refuses to quit. What she also saw was a contender.
Next three: 11/27 vs. Pittsburgh; 11/30 vs. Ohio State; 12/03 at Rutgers
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-1)
The Scarlet Knights continue to stick with what's been a pretty successful gameplan, good defense and a low scoring game. It worked on Sunday when Rutgers won the rematch of one of last season's national semifinals: The victory over LSU was impressive, and with Maryland and Duke ahead, the Scarlet Knights will have other chances to shine. That defense should give even those powers trouble.
Next three: 11/28 at St. Joseph's 12/03 vs. Maryland; 12/06 at Duke
Georgia Bulldogs (6-0)
The Bulldogs are getting tested in close games, and that will pay off once they hit SEC play. It certainly helps Georgia that Tasha Humphrey is playing well -- she's totaled for 43 points and 39 rebounds in the past three games. The offense sputtered a bit in a couple of those wins, scoring less than 60 against Southern California and Temple. The Bulldogs still have the capability of putting up a lot of points. They're averaging 81.8.
Next three: 11/29 vs. Oakland; 12/02 vs. Georgia Tech; 12/09 vs. Davidson
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