Despite defeating Hartford by 55 points in Saturday’s opener, UConn actually lost a first-place vote to second-ranked Duke in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll. Harold Gutmann of the Durham (NC) Herald Sun went voted his home team No. 1. The Blue Devils beat No. 10 California on the road in its opener. Stanford came into Monday’s game against UConn as No. 3. Fourth-ranked Tennessee faced No. 12 North Carolina on Monday night. Louisville was fifth, followed by Notre Dame and Kentucky. Baylor and Cal switched places to round out the top 10.
‘For me, the preseason poll is an educated guess. I think on-court results should carry much more importance,” Gutmann, who covers North Carolina for the newspaper, told Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press in an email. ”Duke going on the road and beating a top-10 team by double digits [I had Cal at No. 4] is by far the most impressive win of the opening weekend.
“I think the Blue Devils deserve to be No. 1 until another team shows it is capable of a similar performance. Certainly the UConn-Stanford winner will have a strong case to be No. 1 next week.”
While UConn waits on South Carolina high school star A’ja Wilson, a 6-5 post and top remaining player in the Class of 2014, the University of South Carolina, the Huskies’ top competition for Wilson, got a verbal commitment from Jatarie White, a 6-4 forward, the No. 7 prospect in the Top 100 for the 2014 class. White was named North Carolina’s state player of the year by both The Associated Press and Gatorade after leading Providence Day to the 3A Independent Schools championship. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks have alrteady signed three guards. Players can officially sign during the NCAA’s early signing period, which starts Wednesday.
UConn has defeated the first ranked opponent it has faced seven straight times dating to its loss to North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2004. That defeat marked the last time the Huskies have even lost a November game, a string that’s now 47 games long. Last season, UConn went to College Station, Tex., for an 81-50 win over Texas A&M … UConn has won 12 of its last 22 games against opponents ranked in the Associated Press’ Top 5. The Huskies margin of victory had been an average of 13.5 points. There were six games last season between UConn and a top five team; the Huskies were 3-3.
If UConn ends up playing a game in Los Angeles next season to commemorate the senior season of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, it will not be against UCLA. “We were talking about it, but they had to change the dates they are coming to California next season [to play Stanford and UC-Davis] and we will be in North Carolina at that time. Not happening next year- maybe the year after we’ll start a series with them,” said Pam Walker, the Bruins director of basketball operations. … Next season’s regular season meeting between UConn and Stanford will be played Nov. 16, 2014 in Palo Alto