Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AP Poll Notes Wrapping Up Year No. 37

By Mel Greenberg

The Associated Press women’s poll’s 37th season went into the history books with the release of Monday’s final poll and when the curtain goes up next season even before the first vote is taken the database that will be updated this summer will reflect a dramatic shift in categories caused by the membership shuffles that are going to occur – particularly with the breakup of the current Big East Conference.

But besides the alterations caused by conference movement, plenty else happened along the way.

Georgia coach Andy Landers, who became the active leader in poll appearances at the start of the season after Tennessee legend Pat Summitt stepped down as part of her ongoing battle with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, finished with 499 and with the Lady Bulldogs’ next ranking Landers will join Summitt as the only two coaches to have 500 or more appearances.

Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma finished with 406 appearances and if Rutgers continues to stay out of the rankings when the 2013-14 preseason poll is taken he will tie C. Vivian Stringer for fourth on the alltime list behind Summitt, Landers, and Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer.

Incidentally, with the change in the conference playoff calendar for the Big 12 and Pac-12 to the first weekend, few games involving teams in the last poll were played and as a result for the first time, ever, the entire list of 25 teams went unchanged, including ranking order, from the previous week.

Baylor, the defending NCAA champion, started out No. 1 and then made it back after Stanford and Connecticut were unable to enjoy life at the top after ascending to overlook the other 24 teams and others receiving votes.

In terms of stats of the poll on the season, Baylor, Duke, Connecticut and Stanford went wire-to-wire the entire 20 weeks in the Top 5 while Maryland was replaced early on by Notre Dame, which then stayed with the elite the rest of the way.

Tennessee is the only team to make the final poll all 37 seasons and the Lady Vols after starting out with the lowest preseason ranking ever at No. 20 and then plunged further to 24 righted themselves to finish in the Top 10 at number 10.

In the top, 10 Baylor, Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, and Notre Dame went wire to wire while Penn State dropped out to No. 11 just one week.

Maryland, Louisville and Georgia in the preseason Top 10 at the outset were replaced by California, Texas A&M and Tennessee at the finish.

Some teams in the preseason poll never made it to the finish as Oklahoma, St. John’s, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, and DePaul and Miami were replaced with UCLA, North Carolina, South Carolina, Dayton, Colorado, Wis.-Green Bay, Syracuse, Iowa State, and Florida State.

Over the course of the season one of the higher number of total teams ranked was reached at 43, including the 12-team wire-to-wire group of Baylor, California, Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Tennessee.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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