Originally created 03/05/02

Conference tourney upsets shake up poll



Upsets in conference tournaments triggered a shakeup in the AP women's basketball poll Monday, even as Connecticut continued its season-long run at No. 1.

LSU, Penn State and Florida International all joined the poll, Florida International making it for the first time in three years and the two others returning after being ranked earlier this season.

Down to seven players because of injuries, LSU produced the biggest shock by knocking off Tennessee 81-80 in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals, a loss that dropped the Lady Vols from third to sixth.

Purdue, South Carolina, Minnesota, Boston College and Florida also lost to unranked opponents and each fell two places.

Defending national champion Notre Dame, Georgia and TCU dropped out after conference tournament losses. TCU had joined the poll for the first time in history only last week.

Connecticut just kept rolling, however, and was a unanimous No. 1 for the ninth straight week. The Huskies defeated West Virginia 89-60 in their regular-season finale, then beat Seton Hall in the Big East tournament to run their record to 31-0.

UConn received all 44 first-place votes from a national media panel and had 1,100 points. Stanford (30-1) remained a solid No. 2 with 1,052 points after reaching the championship game of the first Pac-10 tournament.

No. 3 Duke (26-3), No. 4 Oklahoma (24-3) and No. 5 Vanderbilt (27-6) each moved up one place. Duke was in the ACC tournament finals, Oklahoma won the Big 12 regular-season title and Vanderbilt won the SEC tournament.

After Tennessee in sixth, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Purdue and Colorado completed the Top 10. Baylor, Tech and Colorado all moved up one spot.

Iowa State fell one spot to 11th after losing to Baylor on a last-second shot. Texas and Kansas State each moved up one place and were followed by South Carolina, Old Dominion, North Carolina, Texas Tech, Colorado State, Minnesota and Boston College.

Cincinnati, LSU, Penn State, Florida and Florida International held the final five places.

Despite its slim roster, LSU (17-11) beat Kentucky and Tennessee in the SEC tournament before losing to Vanderbilt in the finals. The Lady Tigers, who were ranked for six weeks in November and December, also had victories over South Carolina and Mississippi State late in the regular season.

Penn State (21-10) had been out of the Top 25 since late December. The Lady Lions won eight of their last 10 regular-season games, then reached the finals of the Big Ten tournament.

Florida International (24-5) won 10 straight to reach the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament and claim a spot in the Top 25 for the first time since the final poll of the 1998-99 season.

Notre Dame, which had been 21st, dropped out after losses to Villanova and Syracuse. Georgia, 24th last week, lost to Tennessee in the SEC quarterfinals and was out of the poll for the first time since the week of Feb. 10, 1998. The Lady Bulldogs had been as high as eighth this season.

TCU, which made its debut at No. 25 last week, lost to Tulane in overtime in the Conference USA semifinals.