Notre Dame Fighting Irish remain No. 1 in college hoops

The Connecticut Huskies appeared poised to take over top spot in the women’s college basketball rankings, however they fell just short in the AP Poll.

The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Baylor Bears in the biggest game of the young college basketball season so far.  However, UCONN did not take over top spot in the AP Poll on Tuesday as I felt they would. At this point Connecticut are the No. 2 team in the nation, up one spot, while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish remain top ranked.

I felt that the Irish would lose top spot following just a four-point spread against Green Bay. While many that voted in the AP Poll seemed to have that point of view as well overall Notre Dame received enough points to edge out UCONN for top spot. The two teams did receive the same number of No. 1 votes (16 each) so what must have made the difference is votes for No. 2.

Notre Dame was the incumbent No. 1 and, to be fair, they have not lost a game yet. Perhaps the AP Poll voters will let them stay on top so long as no one defeats them. Furthermore, Connecticut came very close to losing in Tallahassee to Florida State so, when it comes to spreads and near-misses, that’s a point against them. However, I still think Notre Dame only beating Green Bay by four is a bigger knock against the Irish as Florida State is the 10th ranked team in the nation right now.

Besides UCONN and Notre Dame, the South Carolina Gamecocks are the only other team that got a vote for No. 1. They are currently 3-0 and they sit in third in the rankings. The Gamecocks have a 12-point win over Ohio State on their resume to go with two blowouts of non-contending teams. Baylor, following the loss to UCONN, dropped down to 5th in the nation. They are the highest-ranked team with a loss on the season.

When it comes to big games this week, South Carolina will host 4th-ranked Louisville on November 27th  at 10am. That’s a game that could mix up the rankings for next week. But if things stay the way they are, then the biggest game on the near horizon will come in early December when Notre Dame host Connecticut on the 7th.

Shane Lambert