UConn Falls out of Women's College Basketball AP Top 5 After Record 253-Week Run

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game East Carolina, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

The hits keep on coming for the Connecticut Huskies amid a disappointing season by their absurdly high standards.

Though they rebounded with a victory over South Florida on Sunday, the Huskies lost 70-52 to No. 1 South Carolina last Monday. As a result, they slipped to sixth in the Associated Press' Top 25 poll.

Connecticut hadn't fallen out of the AP's top five since February 2007, a stretch of 253 consecutive weeks.

The Huskies have become victims of their own success. Between 2008-16, they won six national titles and had four unbeaten seasons. Fans became accustomed to seeing UConn roll through the opposition in the regular season en route to the Final Four.

The team's struggles—if they can be labeled as such—this season were entirely predictable, though.

Kia Nurse, Azura Stevens and Gabby Williams moved on to the WNBA in 2018, and Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier followed them to the pro ranks in 2019. That's a lot of elite talent to replace, and the Huskies are no longer the force on the recruiting trail they once were.

To make up for playing in a weaker conference, Connecticut also scheduled a number of prominent opponents to bolster its resume for NCAA tournament seeding. Running the table with South Carolina, Oregon, DePaul, Notre Dame and Baylor on the regular-season slate was going to be almost impossible.

Weep not for the Huskies, though. They're still on pace to be a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance, and they're welcoming the No. 1 player in the country, Paige Bueckers, in their 2020 recruiting class.

What constitutes as a down year for Connecticut would be considered a rousing success for almost any other program in women's basketball.

What's your take?Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Related

    Tyler Bey Going Pro

    PAC-12 DPOY will enter NBA draft

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Tyler Bey Going Pro

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    G'Town's Mac McClung Declares for 2020 NBA Draft

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    G'Town's Mac McClung Declares for 2020 NBA Draft

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Greatest 'What If' in March Madness History 🤔

    What if Hayward made the shot vs. Duke? What if Memphis made their free throws? What if Chris Webber didn’t call a timeout?

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Greatest 'What If' in March Madness History 🤔

    Molly Geary
    via Sports Illustrated

    Paul Reed Declares for Draft

    DePaul junior averaged 15.1 pts last season and is a projected first-round pick (Shams)

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Paul Reed Declares for Draft

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report