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UConn, Irish remain undefeated, atop women's poll

Connecticut remained atop the Associated Press' women’s basketball poll for another week after two more wins.

The Huskies have won 31 straight dating to last season’s NCAA tournament run, which is the fifth-longest winning streak in school history. UConn doesn’t play again until Sunday at South Florida.

Here are five things to know about this week’s poll:

ROLLING ALONG: UConn easily routed SMU before topping Louisville by 17 on Sunday in a rematch of last season’s national championship game. The Cardinals stayed at No. 4 in the poll despite the defeat.

UConn improved to 8-0 against Top 25 teams this season, including victories over six of the current top 11. The Huskies won those games by an average of 21 points.

“They are the greatest team in the country right now,” Louisville Shoni Schimmel said. “They are a hard team to guard. They do what they do best and that’s score.”

The only currently ranked team left on UConn’s schedule is a rematch against Louisville on the first Monday in March.

UNBEATEN, PART II: Notre Dame just keeps rolling along as the only other undefeated team in women’s basketball. The Irish (23-0) matched the best start in school history. The other time the Irish started 23-0 was in 2000-01 en route to the national championship.

The Irish have one game this week, visiting Boston College on Thursday.

The previous time that women’s basketball saw two teams unbeaten this late in the season was 2010, when UConn and Nebraska both hadn’t lost yet. The Cornhuskers ended up losing in the Big 12 tournament before falling in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies finished the season unbeaten en route to their seventh national championship.

RED STORM RISING: St. John’s earned its first appearance in the Top 25 since 2012 by winning its past 10 games. The 24th-ranked Red Storm’s run started after a loss at Xavier which saw the team have to take a 12-hour bus ride out to Ohio because of a winter storm that hit the Northeast.

“That definitely helped us bond as a team,” second-year Red Storm coach Joe Tartamella said. “Getting ranked is great and we’ll enjoy it, but we still have a lot of work to do to keep improving.”

St. John’s doesn’t play again until Saturday when it hosts Villanova.

STREAK BUSTER: Sixth-ranked Stanford lost to Washington on Sunday ending a number of streaks. The Cardinal had a 62-game conference road- and neutral-court winning streak snapped. They also had a 14-game run against Washington end. Stanford hadn’t lost to an unranked opponent since getting swept at UCLA and USC in 2007-08 – a span of 166 straight games. How impressive is that? Well the new longest streak in the country is 45 by Notre Dame, according to STATS. The Cardinal fell short of UConn’s 177-game streak, which ended against St. John’s in 2012.

SOUTHERN PRIDE: South Carolina moved up to fifth in the rankings – its best mark since the 1981-82 season when the Gamecocks reached as high as No. 2 in the poll. Dawn Staley’s squad has a tough next 10 days ahead with road games at No. 19 LSU and No. 18 Kentucky.

The SEC has six teams in the Top 25 with No. 8 Tennessee, 14th-ranked Texas A&M and No. 16 Vanderbilt also ranked. The Lady Vols face the Commodores on Monday night.

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