Dana Evans and the Louisville women’s basketball team are the No. 1 team in the country in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time. Ben McKeown/Associated Press

Louisville is No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll for the first time in school history.

The Cardinals moved to the top spot on Monday, a day after previous No. 1 Stanford lost to Colorado. Louisville received 20 first-place votes from a 29-member national media panel. Its first game as No. 1 will be against Syracuse on Thursday.

North Carolina State came in second for the Wolfpack’s best ranking since Dec. 31, 1990. The new top two teams were supposed to have faced off Sunday, but N.C. State had a positive COVID-19 test in the program and hasn’t played a game since Jan. 3.

UConn, South Carolina and Stanford round out the first five teams in the poll. Stanford was one of nine ranked teams to lose last week.

Georgia entered the poll at No. 22, the Bulldogs’ first ranking since the 2018-19 season, while Iowa State was the other newcomer. Texas and Washington State fell out.

VANDERBILT: The school’s women’s basketball program has decided to stop playing with the Commodores struggling with a depleted roster.

The Commodores currently are 4-4, 0-3 inside the Southeastern Conference. The start of their season featured three cancellations, and they’ve played two games since having a game canceled and two others inside the SEC postponed. They were shut out in the second quarter of a 106-43 loss last week to South Carolina and lost 80-73 on Sunday to No. 12 Kentucky.

Vanderbilt’s roster has been thinned by COVID-19 issues, opt-outs, injuries, a player with myocarditis and another recovering from an ACL injury.

The Commodores join a growing list of women’s basketball teams that have decided to stop playing that now includes Duke, SMU, Virginia and San Jose State among others.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

AP POLL: Gonzaga and Baylor maintained their grip on the top two spots in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll. If third-ranked Villanova ever plays a game, perhaps it will make a run a them.

The Bulldogs again racked up all but the two first-place votes that went to the Bears, while the Wildcats remained firmly behind the preseason top two despite not playing a game since Dec. 23. They had a pair of COVID-19 pauses broken up by a single day, including one involving Coach Jay Wright, effectively sidelining them for a month.

The same teams made up the top 5 this week, though Iowa and Texas swapped places. Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes moved into fourth after ripping Northwestern by 23 points on the road Sunday, while the Longhorns fell back a spot after their six-game winning streak was stopped by No. 12 Texas Tech in a narrow defeat earlier in the week.

Texas doesn’t play again until Saturday after its game against Iowa State was postponed.

ST. JOHN’S 74, (23) UCONN 70: Posh Alexander scored 18 points to lead five St. John’s players in double figures and the Red Storm came from behind to upset No. 23 UConn in Stoors, Connecticut.

Marcellus Earlington scored 15 points and Julian Champagnie, the Big East’s leader scorer, had 10 of his 12 points in the second half. Rasheem Dunn scored 11 points and Dylan Addae-Wusu chipped in with 10 for the Red Storm (8-7, 3-6) who won for just the second time in five games.

R.J. Cole scored 18 points and Tyrese Martin had 14 for UConn (7-2, 4-2), which played its third consecutive game without leading scorer James Bouknight, who is recovering from elbow surgery. UConn led by as many as 14 points in the first half and held the lead for the first 33 minutes of the game. It was 35-32 at the half and the Huskies extended that to 49-41 after a 6-0 run.

FOOTBALL

TENNESSEE: The school fired coach Jeremy Pruitt, two assistants and seven members of the Volunteers’ recruiting and support staff for cause after an internal investigation found what the university chancellor called “serious violations of NCAA rules.”

Chancellor Donde Plowman said Pruitt was responsible for overseeing the program. Tennessee has been conducting an internal investigation since at least the middle of November into allegations of recruiting violations.

“The personnel actions we are announcing today is an indication of the gravity of what we’ve discovered,” Plowman said.

Also fired were assistant football coaches Brian Niedermeyer and Shelton Felton, four members of the on-campus football recruiting staff, the director and assistant director of football player personnel and a football analyst/quality control coach.

Plowman said they were briefed Friday by attorneys from Bond, Shoeneck & King from Kansas, who were retained on Nov. 19 to assist the university’s investigation. The investigation has been seen as an attempt to avoid a buyout of approximately $12.8 million for Pruitt and about $18.6 million for the entire football staff.


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