Tennessee Still #1

Monday, December 3rd 2007, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6

Tennessee is still No. 1, although the Lady Vols are no longer a unanimous choice.

The Lady Vols remained the top team in The Associated Press poll Monday, but for the first time this season didn't receive all the first-place votes, getting 48 of the 50.

The dissenters were Steve Tucker of the Chicago Tribune and Mechelle Voepel of the Kansas City Star, who voted Connecticut No. 1 and Tennessee second. Tucker watched the defending national champions edge then-No. 4 North Carolina on Sunday night 83-79, and decided to go with the Huskies.

``They played at home and barely won, and nobody has given Connecticut a game yet,'' Tucker said. ``When your vote is just opinion it can change all the time. Tennessee had their chances against North Carolina, but never could put them away.''

Connecticut remained No. 2, after routing BYU in its only game this week.

``UConn has blown everyone out and has been that impressive,'' Tucker said.

Next up for Tennessee is a matchup with Old Dominion on Wednesday. The 24th-ranked Lady Monarchs (6-2) beat Penn State and then-No. 20 Michigan State to enter the Top 25 for the first time since the final poll of 2002.

``Obviously the tradition that has gone into Old Dominion basketball has been ongoing for many years now,'' Lady Monarchs coach Wendy Larry said. ``To put this program back on the national map is significant for this team.''

Joining Old Dominion in the poll for the first time in 11 years is Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls (6-0), who were last ranked Feb. 12, 1996, come in at No. 25.

``It means a lot to us, to get Oklahoma State basketball back on the map,'' coach Kurt Budke said. ``To be in the Top 25 in such elite company for our program just two years removed from going 0-16 in the Big 12 is big and exciting.''

Maryland improved to 10-0 and stayed third in the poll. The Terrapins have a showdown with No. 4 Rutgers on Monday night. The Scarlet Knights moved up one spot.

North Carolina dropped to fifth. The rest of the top 10 remained the same with Stanford sixth, followed by Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Baylor.

California and Texas A&M each moved up a spot. West Virginia jumped two places to 13th. Auburn climbed four spots to 14th after beating UC Riverside and then-No. 14 Arizona State. DePaul rounded out the first 15.

Notre Dame made the biggest leap, up six places to 16. The Fighting Irish blew out Canisius and Michigan.

Duke continued its descent, falling to No. 17 a week after dropping out of the top 10 for the first time in 107 weeks. It's the first time Duke hasn't been in the first 15 since Dec. 20, 1999.

The Blue Devils lost to then-No. 23 Vanderbilt and fell to Penn State 86-84 on Sunday for their first three-game losing streak since the 1996-97 season. Before the loss to Penn State, the Blue Devils had a 76-game winning streak against unranked opponents, dating to 2004.

The schedule doesn't get any easier for Duke with a home game against Rutgers on Thursday.

Arizona State dropped four spots to No. 18. Ohio State remained 19th and Vanderbilt moved up to 20.

One week after entering the poll for the first time in school history, Wyoming climb to No. 21. The Cowgirls beat Montana and Denver.

Texas, Michigan State, Old Dominion and Oklahoma State rounded out the Top 25.

George Washington and Florida State were the only teams to fall out of the poll. The Colonials, who were ranked 16th last week, were routed by James Madison 80-55 and lost to UNLV 62-61, before beating Samford.

Florida State fell to Oakland 85-75 on Sunday.