As the women’s basketball season proceeds through winter conference play, league tournaments, and March Madness, the Power Rankings below provide a capsule of the best teams in the nation. The rankings will be updated weekly throughout the season, as the best NCAA Women’s Basketball games continue to shake up the sport.
As the women’s basketball season proceeds through winter conference play, league tournaments, and March Madness, the Power Rankings below provide a capsule of the best teams in the nation. The rankings will be updated weekly throughout the season as the best NCAA Women’s Basketball games continue to shake up the sport. And, of course, we will be here throughout the league tournaments and on the road to the Final Four in Dallas in late March.
1. South Carolina (26-0, 13-0 SEC)
The undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks are hands down the best team in the nation. Only two teams have given South Carolina a run for their money: Stanford and Mississippi State. The overtime thriller at then-No. 2 Stanford was back in November. Mississippi State tested the Gamecocks on Jan. 8 in a contest where South Carolina used a strong fourth quarter with crucial contributions from the nation’s top player, senior forward Aliyah Boston, along with senior guard Zia Cooke. South Carolina continues to lead the country in scoring margin, blocks per game, rebound margin, and scoring defense. They are second in rebounds per game. In addition, Boston is on course to break the program’s career record for double-doubles. South Carolina’s most recent wins include a takedown of AP poll No. 3 LSU, followed by a rout of Florida.
2. Indiana (25-1, 15-1 Big Ten)
Indiana head coach Teri Moren is now the most-winningest coach in program history, a fitting milestone given the program’s stellar season so far. The Hoosiers broke the program record for games won in a season when they earned their 25th victory beating No. 12 Michigan on Feb. 16. Led by multi-faceted senior forward Mackenzie Holmes, who averages 21.7 points per game, the Hoosiers keep rolling in the Big Ten, knocking off nationally-ranked teams. Nationally, IU is third in field goal percentage shooting at a 50.1% clip.
3. Stanford (25-3, 13-2 Pac-12)
After a few bumps on the road, Stanford is back in the mix with two of the best players in the nation, senior guard Haley Jones and prolific shot-blocking junior forward Cameron Brink peaking at the right time. Brink broke the program’s single-season blocks record and tallied a triple-double that included ten blocks. She is the only the second player in Stanford Athletics history, female or male, to earn a triple-double that includes blocks. The road is still hard for the Cardinal in the stacked Pac-12 as the remainder of their regular season games are against ranked teams: UCLA, Colorado, and AP No. 4 Utah. The team is also among the top-five teams in scoring margin, rebound margin, rebounds per game, and blocks per game.
4. LSU (24-1, 12-1 SEC)
LSU remained undefeated until the Tigers faced powerhouse South Carolina on Feb. 12. While LSU wilted in the 88-64 loss, they rebounded four days later with a win against Ole Miss. Angel Reese, who broke the program’s all-time double-double record set by legendary center Sylvia Fowles, led the comeback with a staggering 36 points and 20 rebounds. Dynamic head coach Kim Mulkey is replicating her success at Baylor in just two years. LSU rounds out the regular season with games against unranked teams that they should have no problem winning. The remaining slate includes games against Florida, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi. They are among the top five in scoring margin, blocks per game, field goal percentage, made free throws, and rebounds per game. One main thing that keeps LSU from being higher in the power rankings is the team’s non-conference strength of schedule. Before SEC play began, LSU had a cupcake schedule, and it showed when South Carolina whipped them. Contrast that with Stanford, a team that took South Carolina into overtime in November in a contest that could’ve gone either way.
5. Utah (22-3, 11-3 Pac-12)
Utah has an impressive trajectory through the national polls and Pac-12 standings. The Utes enjoyed a 7-game win streak in conference play, including wins over UCLA and Oregon. Even with a setback of a loss to Arizona, Utah, with the help of leading scorer Alissa Pili, will be an exciting team to keep track of in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments. The Utes hold second place in the conference behind Stanford.
6. Iowa (22-5, 14-2 Big Ten)
Only South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston outshined Iowa junior guard Caitlin Clark last season. The triple-double phenom and fifth-year forward/center Monika Czinano keep Iowa among the nation’s best as they fight in the super-competitive Big Ten. Clark averages an eye-popping 26.9 points per game. Czinano also averages double figures and leads the team in rebounding. Iowa is the Division I leader in scoring offense and field goal percentage.
7. Virginia Tech (21-4, 11-4 ACC)
Virginia Tech is clawing its way through the ACC, even as an underdog to its more storied conference rivals. The Hokies are putting the conference on notice with hard-fought wins, including victories over North Carolina, NC State, Louisville, Florida State, and Duke. The Hokies have a rematch against North Carolina on Feb. 23. Nationally, Virginia Tech is among the top 20 teams in scoring margin. The Hokies lead the conference in three-pointers per game and assist/turnover ratio, indicating excellent ball handling among the team’s guards. Senior center Elizabeth Kitley paces Virginia Tech in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18 points and 10.79 rebounds per contest.
8. Maryland (22-5, 13-3 Big Ten)
While Maryland lost some great players to the transfer portal last season, the Terrapins also gained talent with several experienced newcomers alongside the team’s leading scorer Diamond Miller. Brinae Alexander, a transfer from Vanderbilt, averages nearly 10 points per game. The Terps shoot well from beyond the arc and the free-throw line. They take care of the ball well with an excellent assist/turnover ratio and turnover margin.
9. Texas (20-7, 11-3 Big 12)
After a rocky start to the season with three straight losses, the Longhorns have found their footing. Junior forward DeYona Gaston leads the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game, while sophomore guard Rori Harmon is close behind with 12 points per contest. Harmon also leads the team in assists. Texas must survive games against West Virginia, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Kansas State to earn a favorable seeing in March’s Big 12 Tournament.
10. Notre Dame (21-5, 12-5 ACC)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Niele Ivey is bringing the team back to its former glory after a couple of off years during the transition to her reign following the retirement of Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw. The Irish are tied for first place in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference with sharpshooter sophomore guard and assist queen Olivia Miles leading the way. The team is one of the best rebounding programs in the nation. Miles is fifth in the country in assists per game.
11. Oklahoma (21-4, 11-3 Big 12)
Oklahoma seems to be back to its elite status two years after the retirement of legendary Sherri Coale. Her replacement, Jennie Baranczyk, has the Sooners on the up and up with a six-game win streak in the Big 12 as conference play begins to wind down. Oklahoma will face Texas on Feb. 25 at home in a game that should be a good bellwether to the conference tournament in March. Senior forward Madi Williams leads the Sooners with 16.0 points per game. Senior guard Taylor Robertson is the nation’s top three-point shooter and leads the country in free throw percentage at 92.1%.
12. UConn (24-4, 16-1 Big East)
For most teams, an off year for UConn is still a pretty good one. Even though the 11-time national champion Huskies is still an elite squad, they are experiencing one of the most challenging seasons in program history under the legendary Geno Auriemma. With All-American junior guard Paige Bueckers out this season due to a torn ACL and recurrent injuries that keep sophomore guard Azzi Fudd sidelined, UConn is squeaking through a season of close calls with less than ten healthy players. Sophomore guard Caroline Ducharme recently returned on Feb. 15 after missing 13 games with a concussion. With Ducharme back in the lineup and a possible Fudd return, the Huskies should be able to win the conference regular season and tournament titles.
13. Duke (22-4, 12-3 ACC)
With tenacious defense, Duke stymies its rivals. Senior guard Celeste Taylor leads the Blue Devils in scoring, three-point shots, and steals. While Duke enjoyed some early success in conference play, they had tough losses to North Carolina, unranked Florida State, and Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils are second in the nation in scoring defense, limiting foes to no more than an average of 50.7 points per game. The bookend of the regular season will see Duke facing local rivals NC State and North Carolina for the second time in conference play.
14. Michigan (20-6, 10-5 Big Ten)
Under 11th-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico, Michigan beat Rutgers on the road for the first time in program history on Jan. 19. With one pre-conference exception, Michigan’s losses have only been against ranked teams in the Big Ten (Ohio State and Indiana). The Wolverines have a trio of players averaging double figures in scoring: graduate student forward Emily Kiser, sophomore guard Laila Phelia, and fifth-year guard Leigha Brown. Kiser and Brown also lead the team in rebounding. Michigan still has challenging contests on the horizon, including a home contest against Ohio State.
15. Villanova (23-5, 14-3 Big East)
Villanova is the team in the Big East that has the potential to knock off UConn in the conference tournament. The Wildcats played the Huskies close in January. Senior forward Maddy Siegrist is having an outstanding season. She scored a program-record 50 points on 20-of-26 shooting in a win over Seton Hall on Feb. 11. Siegrist is third in the nation in scoring, second in scoring average, and first in field goals made. The NCAA included the Wildcats in its first reveal of potential top 16 seeds earlier this month. Villanova landed at No. 15 and was categorized as a No. 4 seed in the predicted bracket.
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