South Dakota State And Princeton Are Out, Utah And Villanova Are In

A look at this week’s AP Top 25 rankings.

By Elisha Gunaratnam

College basketball is always full of unexpected upsets, and this season is no different. With Tennessee, Princeton, and South Dakota State struggling in their first few games, teams like Utah and Villanova have found themselves rising in national polls. 

It’s a long way until the NCAA Tournament, but these teams know that every win counts toward getting a more favorable seed in March.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the major storylines in college basketball.

Creighton guard Molly Mogensen (21) dribbles the ball against Nebraska during an NCAA basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)

Creighton Knocks South Dakota State Out Of The Top 25

After being tied at 64 with six minutes left, Creighton put together a 9–0 run over the next five minutes to defeat regional rival South Dakota State 78–69. 

Lauren Jensen had 30 points for Creighton, while teammates Morgan Maly and Molly Mogensen had 13 and 9 points respectively. Creighton shot 53.6 percent from the field in the second half of the contest and finished the game 7-for-15 on three-point shots. The win bumped the Bluejays up one spot in the AP Top 25 Poll, while it knocked the Jackrabbits out of the top 25 altogether. 

It’s not unusual for Creighton to take down nationally ranked teams. They busted open several brackets last year when they defeated Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament

The Bluejays are looking to prove that their deep run in the NCAA Tournament last March wasn’t a fluke, and with a 3–0 start to their season, this team might just find themselves continuing to climb the AP Top 25 rankings.

Tennessee’s Struggles Continue

Tennessee’s loss to Ohio State marked the first time since 2008 that a top-five team was defeated in its first game by a team outside the top five in the poll since No. 3 Maryland lost to unranked TCU, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The top five teams had gone 69–0 in those games until last week, so it’s not surprising that Tennessee fell from fifth to eleventh in the AP Top 25 rankings this week. 

Unfortunately for Tennessee fans, the Lady Vols picked up another loss to a lower-ranked team on November 14. The No. 12-ranked Indiana Hoosiers controlled Monday’s contest from start to finish and staved off a late charge from the Lady Vols, winning the game 79–67.

The loss will likely result in Tennessee falling further in the national rankings, while Indiana could see itself climb a few spots thanks to their 3–0 start to the season.

Villanova Takes Princeton’s Spot In the Top 25

The Princeton Tigers had one of the best seasons in Ivy League history when they made it to the Round of 32 in last year’s NCAA Tournament. 

There were high hopes for this team going into the season, with the Tigers becoming the first Ivy League women’s team to earn a ranking in the AP preseason poll and only the fourth Ivy squad overall to secure this honor. Unfortunately for Princeton, their time in the AP Top 25 was short-lived as the Villanova Wildcats took their spot in a shocking upset on November 11. 

Princeton started the contest on fire with six three-pointers in the first quarter, but Villanova saved their best for last, going on a 12–0 run to come away with a 69–59.

The Wildcats earned the women’s basketball Team of the Week honors after the upset.

Thanksgiving is always a special time in college basketball, and there are several big tournaments that are taking place this weekend and next weekend. Louisville, Tennessee, South Dakota State, Rutgers, UCLA, Marquette, Texas, and Gonzaga are participating in the Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament from November 19–21, while UConn, Duke, Iowa, and Oregon State take part in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament from November 25–27. 

With South Carolina (No. 1) and Stanford (No. 3) also meeting for the first time this season on November 20, fans should expect to see some big changes in the AP Top 25 rankings over the next few weeks. 

Keep an eye on the She Plays Instagram and Twitter pages for more college basketball updates! 

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