Louisville, NC State survive upset bids to remain atop poll

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Louisville and the state of North Carolina both survived bids thwarted by unranked teams to remain the top two teams in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday.

The No.1 Cardinals needed a late basket from Dana Evans to avoid Wake Forest on Sunday, while the second-placed Wolfpack had to recover from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Virginia. Tech a few hours later.

Louisville received 22 of 30 first-place votes from a national media panel while NC State garnered five. The two teams will meet next Monday in a composition of their game postponed due to COVID-19 issues.

NC State was playing its first game since January 3 after the team was put on hiatus due to the coronavirus. The Wolfpack were still missing their star Elissa Cunane because of the virus. They hope to find her in early February.

“We’re lucky she isn’t feeling too bad,” said NC State coach Wes Moore.

They weren’t the only top teams facing tough challenges over the past few days as third-place UConn held up at the time – No. Tennessee 25 and No.4 South Carolina edged LSU.

UCLA, fifth, switched places with No.6 Stanford in the poll after beating the Cardinal on Friday. The ranking is the highest the Bruins have had in the past 22 years, when they were also fifth in 2017. Prior to that, they had not been ranked this high since 1999.

The rest of the top 10 remained intact, with Maryland, Texas A&M, Baylor and Arizona remaining in their place. West Virginia and the state of South Dakota entered the ballot this week at numbers 24 and 25 while the state of Iowa and Syracuse dropped out.

POLL ALERT: Louisville, North Carolina St, UConn, SC Remain At Top Of Women’s Top 25 AP, UCLA Climbs To No.5; West Virginia and South Dakota join the rankings. Full survey & gt; & gt; https://t.co/3ytYOCGqd1 More coverage & gt; & gt; https://t.co/F9iVr3MORu pic.twitter.com/3fKeoDi3Vj

& mdash; AP Top 25 (@ AP_Top25) January 25, 2021

SIDELINATED WOLVERINES:

Michigan lost its first game of the season last week, dropping a spot to 12th in the poll, despite a 50-point effort from Naz Hillmon in the loss to Ohio State. Wolverines got worse news On Saturday evening, when the entire sports department announced it was taking a break after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant which is spreading at a higher rate. Wolverines will miss at least their next four games.

GAME OF THE WEEK:

Arizona at UCLA, Sunday. The Wildcats won the teams’ first meeting by three points and the Bruins would love to split the series this season and remain in contention for a regular season Pac-12 championship. Both teams as well as Stanford have both lost in conference so far this season.

___

More AP Women’s College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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