Kim Mulkey has LSU back in the top 10 for the first time in 13 years as the Tigers moved up three places to No. 8 in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll on Monday.
Mulkey, who won three national titles in 21 seasons as Baylor’s coach, has guided LSU to 23 victories in her first season in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are second in the Southeastern Conference behind South Carolina, the unanimous No. 1 team in this week’s poll.
LSU last was in the top 10 on Dec. 14, 2009 and hasn’t won this many games since finishing the 2011-12 season with 23 victories. The Tigers beat then-No. 17 Florida on Sunday in front of 13,620 fans, the fourth-largest women’s basketball crowd in school history.
The Gamecocks continued their run atop the poll after beating then-No. 12 Tennessee on Sunday to clinch at least a share of the SEC title.
South Carolina was followed by No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 North Carolina State. North Carolina jumped six places in the poll to No. 18 with its victory over Louisville, which dropped a spot to No. 4.
Notre Dame moved up five spots to No. 14 — its best ranking since the final poll of its national title-winning 2018-2019 season. The Irish have games left against Clemson and Louisville. Notre Dame also caught a break as its game at Virginia on Tuesday was ruled a forfeit win for the Irish by the Atlantic Coast Conference. The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 25 but postponed because of COVID-19 issues. It’s the second forfeit for Virginia in the last two weeks.
NOT QUITE ENOUGH
Kansas (19-5) remained just outside the Top 25. The Jayhawks have a difficult remaining schedule with Big 12 games against No. 8 Iowa State, No. 5 Baylor, No. 11 Texas and No. 20 Oklahoma. Kansas hasn’t been ranked since 2013.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 6 Michigan at No. 21 Iowa, Sunday. The last time the teams met, Caitlin Clark scored 46 points in a losing effort for the Hawkeyes. Michigan would clinch its first Big Ten regular-season crown if it can beat rival Michigan State on Thursday and get past Iowa again.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25