UConn women’s basketball team ranked outside of the top 5 for the first time since 2007

  • South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) battles for a rebound against Connecticut guard Anna Makurat (left) during the first half of a game on Feb. 10 in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 70-52, bumping UConn out of the top five. AP

Hartford Courant
Published: 2/17/2020 7:04:07 PM

For the first time since George W. Bush was president, the UConn women’s basketball team is not one of the nation’s top five teams according to the AP poll.

Following a lopsided loss to South Carolina last week, the Huskies fell to No. 6 nationally, behind South Carolina, Oregon, Baylor, Stanford and Louisville. Geno Auriemma’s team had not previously stood outside the top five since the morning of Feb. 5, 2007.

Here is what to know about the end of an incredible streak:

4,760 consecutive days in top five

Incredibly, UConn spent nearly 5,000 consecutive days in the top five. The streak of 253 straight weeks is No. 1 all-time and easily beats the second-best streak, set by Louisiana Tech in the 1980s with 96.

How long ago was February 2007? Well, Peyton Manning had just won his first Super Bowl, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” was the nation’s top song, Sen. Barack Obama had yet to declare his candidacy for president, and current UConn guard Christyn Williams was 6 years old.

Streaks still going

UConn is still running some impressive streaks.

Even after falling from the top five, UConn has been:

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull> ranked in the top 10 since March 14, 2005.

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>ranked in the top 20 since Nov. 16, 1993.

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>ranked in the top 25 for at least one week in each season since 1989-90 and ranked in the top five for at least one week in each season since 1993-94.

Those streaks seem safe for now.

Moving back up?

UConn has finished its nonconference schedule, leaving only a handful more games against American Athletic Conference opponents, followed by the league tournament. Auriemma’s team won’t be an underdog again until at least the latter stages of the NCAA Tournament.

If the Huskies avoid a slip-up, they will move back up the polls as teams ahead of them lose.

Still top five to some

Her Hoops Stats, a website using advanced statistics to measure women’s basketball teams, still has the Huskies at No. 5 in the nation, behind Oregon, Baylor, South Carolina and Maryland. NCAA.com’s power rankings have them No. 5 as well, behind Oregon, Baylor, South Carolina and Louisville.

The Coaches Poll, meanwhile, has UConn No. 6.

NCAA seeding matters most

Ultimately, the AP poll means little. Last year, for example, UConn was ranked No. 2 in the final regular-season Top 25 but failed to snag a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The tournament committee listed the Huskies as a No. 2 seed in a midseason bracket update even before their losses to Oregon and South Carolina. ESPN’s Charlie Creme had UConn as a No. 2 in his most recent “Bracketology,” sharing a region with Oregon.

Auriemma not concerned

Auriemma isn’t exactly stressed about where UConn ranks or where the Huskies might land in the NCAA Tournament bracket.

“Who gives a (crap) what (UConn’s ranking) is?” Auriemma said after the South Carolina loss. “The object is to get through the season and get into the NCAA Tournament, this year. Some years the object is we’re going to be a number one seed and we’re going to win the whole thing. This year the object is get through the season, get in the NCAA Tournament, see what happens.”




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