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Virginia's enters Top 25; UConn is No. 1

Source:ap.org Author:DOUG FEINBERG Date:03/25/14 Click:

Virginia entered the Top 25 for the first time in four seasons after coming off one of its most thrilling victories in years.

The Cavaliers rallied from 15 points down Sunday to beat Georgia Tech 103-101 in double overtime, a win that carried Virginia to its first ranking — at No. 25 — since the preseason poll of the 2003-04 season.

Connecticut remained the top choice in The Associated Press women's basketball poll Monday with 40 of the 50 first-place votes.

The Huskies had a busy week, beating No. 6 LSU on Monday and rallying from a 17-point second half deficit to edge DePaul on Saturday night. Connecticut beat No. 4 Rutgers 66-46 Monday night for the Big East regular season title.

The Scarlet Knights handed the Huskies their lone loss of the season on Feb. 5.

The top five in the poll remained unchanged with North Carolina, Tennessee, Rutgers and Maryland following Connecticut. The Tar Heels still had two first-place votes and Rutgers received the other eight.

With its win Sunday, the Cavaliers (22-8) locked up the No. 4 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

"It was an unbelievable game, we're very persistent," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "I've had several of them, double, triple overtime games but this was crazy the way it happened since we had to come back."

The Cavaliers may face the Yellow Jackets again. Virginia next game is Friday against the winner of the Georgia Tech-Miami game.

While being ranked is a nice bonus for Ryan, the Cavaliers don't have much time to enjoy it.

"At tournament time, every one is playing for their lives," she said. "It could be one and done."

Virginia's only losses this season in the conference have come to Maryland twice, North Carolina and Duke.

Maryland was followed by Stanford, LSU and Baylor. Notre Dame jumped five spots to No. 9 after routing South Florida and Seton Hall. California fell one place to No. 10 after losing to Washington on Sunday — a defeat that cost the Golden Bears a share of their first Pac-10 title.

Oklahoma dropped one spot to No. 11 after losing to Texas at home Sunday. The Sooners were followed by Duke, George Washington, West Virginia and Utah. Old Dominion fell five places to No. 16 after James Madison ended the Lady Monarchs' 19-game winning streak Sunday. They were followed by Texas A&M, UTEP, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State, which fell three places.

Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Georgia, Marist and Virginia round out the Top 25.

Wyoming was the only team to fall out of the rankings.

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