Notre Dame returns to No. 1
UConn moves up to second, Tenneesse drops to third
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tennessee's first loss in more than two months sent Notre Dame back to No. 1 on Monday in The Associated Press women's basketball poll.
Notre Dame returned to the position it held for four weeks in January and February, receiving 33 of a possible 40 first-place votes and 992 points from the national media panel.
Tennessee, which had been No. 1 for two weeks, had an 18-game winning streak broken by a 77-74 loss to Vanderbilt in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Lady Vols (29-2), whose other loss was to Connecticut on Dec. 30, fell to third with two first-place votes and 927 points. Connecticut climbed one spot to second, receiving five first-place votes and 951 points.
Notre Dame moved to No. 1 for the first time in school history after a Jan. 15 victory against Connecticut, which had been No. 1 until then. The Irish stayed on top until falling to second after 54-53 loss at Rutgers on Feb. 17.
Notre Dame is 28-1 following a Big East tournament semifinal victory against Virginia Tech on Monday night. Connecticut (26-2) played Rutgers in the other Big East semifinal.
Conference tournaments and late regular-season games shuffled the poll, but Washington was the only newcomer, returning at No. 22 after being out for two weeks.
Georgia beat Vanderbilt to win the SEC tournament and moved up two spots to fourth. Duke was fifth and Louisiana Tech sixth, followed by Oklahoma, Rutgers, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
The No. 10 ranking is the highest since Jan. 27, 1998 for Vanderbilt, which was 15th last week.
Texas Tech jumped three places to 11th, Xavier held at No. 12 and Iowa State fell three spots to 13th after losing to Texas Tech in its last regular-season game. Utah was 14th and Florida 15th, followed by Southwest Missouri State, Iowa, and LSU and North Carolina State in a tie for 18th. Colorado was 20th.
Penn State, Washington, Clemson, Baylor and Wisconsin held the final five spots.
Washington (19-7), which leads the Pac-10 by one game with two to play, broke into the poll for the first time this season at No. 23 on Feb. 12. The Huskies dropped out the following week after losing at Oregon but have won three in a row since.
Arizona State dropped out from No. 22 after losing road games to Oregon and Oregon State last week. The Sun Devils had been ranked for four weeks.
Iowa made the biggest jump within the poll, vaulting from 23rd to 17th after beating Purdue in the championship game of the Big Ten tournament. The Hawkeyes (20-9) entered the poll three weeks ago for the first time since 1998. They have won 12 of their past 13.
North Carolina State and Colorado both moved up three places.
Wisconsin, which lost to Illinois in the Big Ten quarterfinal, fell from 20th to 25th for the biggest drop within the poll. Florida tumbled four places to 15th after losing to Arkansas in the SEC quarterfinals.