In a season already marked by surprises, the NCAA women's basketball landscape has been shaken to its core. South Carolina has solidified its position as the unanimous No. 1 team in this week's AP women’s college basketball Top 25 poll. The Gamecocks have been ranked for 209 consecutive weeks, only second to UConn’s record streak of 567 weeks. The Gamecocks, with their all 36 first-place votes, continue to dominate the field.

The poll saw UCLA ascend to No. 2, a historic high for the program, reported Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press. However, the bigger story is the early-season struggles of other top-ranked teams. Former No. 2 Iowa and No. 4 Utah have both experienced their first losses of the season. This downturn means eight of the preseason top 10 teams have already faced defeat, a scenario not seen in the past 20 years. The last time the top 10 saw such a shake-up was in the 2004-05 season when seven teams suffered early losses.

Among the original top 10, only UCLA and South Carolina have remained undefeated. The Bruins are gearing up for a high-profile clash against UConn at a tournament in the Cayman Islands on Friday, a game that could further reshape the rankings.

The poll's top five is rounded out by Colorado, Stanford and Iowa. Colorado's ranking is its highest since 1995, when the team was positioned at No. 2. Reigning national champion LSU remains at seventh, followed by USC and Virginia Tech. Utah and North Carolina State are currently tied for the 10th spot.

Kansas State has made a significant leap into the AP Top 25 at No. 16 following their victory over Iowa. Mississippi State has re-entered the poll at No. 25. Meanwhile, Baylor has surged seven spots to No. 14 after defeating Utah, marking their first win against a top-four team since their victory over No. 1 UConn in 2020.

End of an era for Maryland in AP Top 25

Diamond Miller, Maryland

Maryland’s impressive 13-year presence in the AP Top 25 has come to an end. The Terrapins, who had been a fixture in the rankings for 251 consecutive weeks – the second-longest active streak behind No. 6 UConn – fell out of the Top 25 on Monday. This departure marks the end of a streak that began with the start of the 2010-11 season.

The Terrapins’ exit from the rankings follows a tumultuous week. They suffered a significant 32-point defeat at the hands of UConn, a game that undeniably impacted their standing. Despite a narrow victory over Syracuse on Sunday, it wasn’t enough to maintain their position in the top 25. This shift signifies a notable moment in NCAA women’s basketball, as Maryland's 251-week run was the sixth-longest ever in AP Top 25 history.