South Carolina women’s basketball’s first loss of the season did little to affect its position in the latest edition of the Associated Press poll, as the Gamecocks (6-1) only dropped from No. 3 to No. 5.
The small decline is not unexpected, as the team that topped USC, Notre Dame, was already ranked No. 6 in the country and considered a Final Four contender. The Irish (6-0) took South Carolina’s place at No. 3 with the victory.
Dawn Staley’s defending national champion squad opened the season at No. 4 in the AP poll. The Gamecocks last ranked outside the top 4 on Feb. 27, but have been inside the top 10 for 75 consecutive weeks now.
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Connecticut, who USC will play on Feb. 1, remained the poll’s unanimous No. 1 choice, while future opponents Mississippi State (No. 6), Tennessee (No. 12), Duke (No. 14), Texas A&M (No. 18), Missouri (No. 19) and Kentucky (No. 20) all appear as well.
South Carolina will attempt to bounce back from its first defeat of the year Thursday against Western Carolina at Colonial Life Arena.