Coach Dawn Staley has South Carolina back where her team started the season: at No. 1 in The Associated Press women's college basketball poll.
The Gamecocks regained the top spot on Monday, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes from a national media panel.
The Gamecocks will be tested right away; they visit No. 2 UConn on Monday night in the 60th matchup ever between the top two teams in the poll.
South Carolina, which originally fell from the top spot after losing to North Carolina State, looks to make it two straight wins over UConn after beating the Huskies for the first time in eight tries last season, 70-52.
"It is less pressure but more hunger," Staley said Saturday. "To beat somebody at home is a little easier than beating them on the road. And I just hope we're able to check that off the list and continue what UConn used to do to us: Link those wins together and don't look back."
These same two teams met five years ago to the day in another 1-2 contest. The positions were reversed and the Huskies stayed No. 1 with a 12-point win.
UConn moved up one spot to No. 2 on Monday after then-No. 1 Louisville lost at home to No. 4 North Carolina State last week. The Cardinals fell to third and the Wolfpack remained fourth. They lost to unranked North Carolina on Sunday.
No 5. Stanford, Texas A&M and Baylor each moved up a spot, while UCLA, Maryland and Arizona rounded out the top 10. Arizona visits No. 11 Oregon on Monday night.
Mississippi State dropped out of the poll for the first time since 2014.
Kansas out of AP poll
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas dropped out of The Associated Press men's college basketball poll for the first time in 12 years on Monday, ending the Jayhawks' record streak of 231 consecutive weeks ranked in the Top 25.
Gonzaga and Baylor held down the top two spots, just as they have all season, with the Bulldogs getting 55 of 63 first-place votes and the Bears getting the other eight. Michigan took advantage of Villanova's loss at St. John's to jump into the top three, rival Ohio State climbed three spots to No. 4 and the Wildcats rounded out the top 5.
Illinois gave the Big Ten three teams in the top six after beating Indiana in overtime and pounding No. 21 Wisconsin over the weekend. The Illini were followed by Texas Tech, Houston, Virginia and Missouri, which beat Kentucky and No. 11 Alabama to reach the top 10 for the first time since Dec. 24, 2012.
The real drama came not at the top of the poll, though, but at the bottom of it.
When Kansas and UCLA fell out this week, it left the AP Top 25 without the Jayhawks, Bruins and fellow bluebloods Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina — with their combined 33 national championships — for the first time since Dec. 18, 1961. It also meant none of the 13 winningest Division I programs were ranked; No. 24 Purdue barely squeaked in.
Tuesday college basketball
Alabama at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.
More Carolina baseball rankings
COLUMBIA - The University of South Carolina baseball team is ranked in both the USA Today Coaches' Poll and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll.
The Gamecocks are ranked No. 20 in the ESPN poll and No. 23 in the NCBWA poll.
Carolina is now ranked in five of the six collegiate baseball polls, coming in at No. 18 in both the Baseball America and D1Baseball.com polls, No. 20 in the coaches' poll, No. 21 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and No. 23 in the NCBWA poll.
SCSU softball signs 6
South Carolina State head softball coach Tatjana Matthews has announced the addition of six new Lady Bulldogs to the 2021-22 season.
Cassidy Church (5-5, 2nd base, shortstop, catcher) from Sacramento, California, made the transition from pitcher to second baseman and shortstop during her prep career.
Jasmine Hogan (5-5, utility) from Blythewood, played her prep career at Cardinal Newman, where she also played centerfield and pitcher.
Amariya Thompson (5-2, outfielder, 2nd baseman) from Lancaster, has played travel softball with the LA Elite and Bandits NC-Ghent.
Zarrie Ziyona Smith (5-3, pitcher/uliity) from Union, made appearances in several different travel softball teams and two different high schools during her career.
Breyanna Collins (5-8, pitcher, 2nd baseman) from Augusta, Georgia, is a three-time honorable mention and all-region performer during her prep career at Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia.
Marissa Marshall (5-4, 3rd baseman, utility) from Elk Grove, California, has played every position during her career except catcher.
2 on Staley Award list
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina guard Zia Cooke and junior Destanni Henderson earned spots on the Dawn Staley Award Midseason Watch List, The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia announced. They are among 16 student-athletes in the running for the award, which recognizes the player who exemplifies the skills that Staley possessed throughout her career - ball handling, scoring, ability to distribute the basketball and will to win.
Boston in award top 10
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina sophomore Aliyah Boston is among the top-10 candidates for the Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Named after the three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer, the annual award in its fourth season recognizes the top center in women's NCAA Division I college basketball.