Michael Voepel, an ESPN journalist covering the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and various college sports for espnW, has been immersed in women’s basketball since 1984. With a tenure at ESPN since 1996, Voepel offers seasoned insights into the dynamic world of women’s collegiate basketball.
In the latest developments, South Carolina faced a formidable challenge but maintained its undefeated streak, while UConn experienced a setback with a double-digit loss at home, causing them to slip out of the top 10 rankings.
The ACC and Pac-12 conferences, in particular, contributed to the complexity of ranking teams in women’s college basketball.
The focus recently turned to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where defending champion LSU sought to hand South Carolina its first loss of the season.
Despite the chaos that typically ensues in the rankings, South Carolina emerged victorious, extending their winning streak to 19 games and solidifying their position as the only unbeaten team in the nation.
The top five of ESPN’s women’s college basketball Power Rankings witnessed further shake-ups due to these developments.
Notably, Kansas State, on a 15-game winning streak, rose to the second spot, creating anticipation for a challenging week in Big 12 play. The Big Ten showcased a three-way tie at the top between Iowa, Ohio State, and Indiana, with key matchups shaping the conference landscape.
In the ACC, Notre Dame secured a significant nonconference win against UConn, elevating their standing but not altering their position in the ACC standings. Stanford, initially projected to finish third in the Pac-12, surprised by leading the league as February approached.
The Player of the Week spotlighted Hannah Hidalgo of Notre Dame, who, in her first Notre Dame-UConn rivalry game, delivered an impressive performance with 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Hidalgo is on track to break the Notre Dame freshman scoring average record.
Oregon State claimed the Team of the Week title for the second time, recording notable upsets against No. 3 Colorado and No. 16 Utah, contributing to the drama in the Pac-12.
Washington State’s victory over No. 2 UCLA earned them the Win of the Week accolade, achieving milestones by defeating a top-two team and securing a true road win against a top-five opponent.
Dawn Staley of South Carolina received the Coach of the Week award for steering her team through a challenging game at LSU, followed by a decisive victory against Vanderbilt. South Carolina maintained an outstanding record of 90-3 since the start of the 2021-22 season.
The Power Rankings’ top five teams, as of the latest update, are:
1. South Carolina Gamecocks (19-0)
2. Kansas State Wildcats (20-1)
3. Iowa Hawkeyes (19-2)
4. Stanford Cardinal (19-2)
5. NC State Wolfpack (18-2)
The rankings further detail the performances and challenges faced by each of the top 10 teams, reflecting the dynamic and competitive landscape of women’s college basketball.