Behind the Ballot: Welcome to Princeton and Goodbye to Kansas State 

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UConn Huskies guard Christyn Williams (13) and Villanova Wildcats forward Maddy Siegrist (20) work for the ball in the second half at XL Center. Photo by David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

Hello all and welcome back to my weekly column called Behind the Ballot, where I will share my Top 25 women’s basketball rankings that I submit to be included in the Student Media Poll. The SMP is a weekly basketball poll, voted on by student journalists from around the country from a variety of different college newspapers, and I am fortunate enough to serve as a women’s basketball voter. I look at previous rankings and games from the past week to determine my weekly ballot. With that being said, let’s jump into this week’s rankings!  

  1. South Carolina 
  1. Stanford 
  1. Louisville 
  1. Indiana 
  1. NC State 
  1. Baylor 
  1. LSU 
  1. Arizona 
  1. Michigan 
  1. Maryland 
  1. Oklahoma 
  1. UConn 
  1. Iowa State 
  1. Tennessee 
  1. Texas 
  1. Georgia Tech 
  1. Georgia 
  1. Florida 
  1. Virginia Tech 
  1. Notre Dame 
  1. Ohio State 
  1. North Carolina 
  1. Oregon 
  1. BYU 
  1. Princeton 

RISERS 

No. 25 Princeton– It’s been quite the journey for the Tigers out of New Jersey, and the time has come to recognize how good Princeton has been this year. The Tigers boast a 17-4 record and are on a 10 game win streak, completely tearing through the Ivy League. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has Princeton in his bracket, largely thanks to the work of senior guard Abby Meyers. Meyers has shot a torrid 40% from beyond the arc, contributing to her 17.9 points per game, to go along with 6.3 boards, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals. The Tigers and Meyers are the sole favorites to win the Ivy tournament this year, and if they don’t, they still should be in decent shape to make some noise in March. 

No. 19 Virginia Tech–The Hokies had one of the better weeks of any team in the nation this week after spending the past month looking at the top 25 from the outside. Virginia Tech beat both current No. 16 Georgia Tech and No. 22 North Carolina, helping them to their third place standing in the brutally tough ACC. In those two games, sophomore point guard Georgia Amoore shined, totaling a combined 38 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals on 10-17 shooting from deep. Amoore has been critical for the Hokies as of late, notching double figures in seven of her last eight games. Tech will face a large challenge this week as they take on No. 3 Louisville, who is playing their best basketball of the season. 

FALLERS 

No. 9 Michigan–If Virginia Tech had the best week of the top 25, then there is no doubt that Michigan had the worst. The Wolverines came into the week with two losses, but doubled that total thanks to back to back unranked losses on the road to rival Michigan State and Northwestern in 2OT. Hillmon extended her streak as the leading scorer to seven games, but Michigan will really need to get their act together quickly, with only three games left until the Big Ten Tournament. They have a chance to right the ship at home this Sunday against No. 10 Maryland. 

Kansas State–There isn’t a team that has had a more up and down season than Kansas State. On Jan. 23rd, the unranked Wildcats hosted current No. 11 Oklahoma and ran them out of the gym, 94-65 thanks to Ayoka Lee’s 61 points. Since then, they’re 2-4, failing to beat a ranked opponent and losing to three. On Wednesday at Baylor, they were run out of the gym, losing 95-50. The difference between a win and a loss for Kansas State is whether Lee played well. In games where Lee is the Wildcats’ leading scorer, KSU is 14-4. They’ll go only as far as the 6’6’’ forward takes them this March. 

UCONN 

The UConn Women’s Basketball Team defeats Tennessee 75-56 in a major victory at the XL Center Sunday afternoon. The Huskies took an early lead and held onto the W taking their season record to 15-4. Photo by Julie Spillane /The Daily Campus.

The Huskies had a disappointing week, losing their first conference game in their last 169 tries on Wednesday against Villanova. In that contest, they looked completely unengaged until the final three minutes, where they tried to come back from a nearly impossible 17-point deficit and lost by three. Otherwise, they did well, beating top five conference foes DePaul at home and Marquette on the road by a combined 38 points. They get a bit of a break this week, facing Xavier on the road Friday, and then Georgetown at home Sunday.  

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