After the dust of the Thanksgiving week women’s college basketball tournaments settled, one team stood atop the mess. The South Carolina Gamecocks look like the real deal after dismantling UConn for a 73-57 win. They’re the only team from last week’s top-7 without a loss, and received all first-place votes this week.

What happened last week?

  • An injured and (non-Covid) ill No. 2 Maryland without two starters fell big-time by 18 points to NC State & 19 points to Stanford

  • No. 3 UConn lost to SC in its only game of the week

  • No. 4 4Indiana faltered against Stanford by three points

What do the rankings look like this week?

  • A whole lot different! 4NC State rose to No. 2 after dismantling Maryland

  • UConn stayed at No. 3 after its loss to South Carolina

  • Stanford climbed to No. 4 after besting both Maryland and Indiana but falling to South Florida

  • Baylor moved up to No. 5

So is South Carolina the best team in women’s college basketball?

Right now, yes. The Gamecocks had an extremely difficult early-season schedule, yet earned victories over three top-10 teams (Connecticut, NC State and Oregon) by a whopping 42 points! Dawn Staley’s group was the preseason No. 1 for good reason. Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke are (once again) taking over.

Do last week’s results strengthen the case for SC to be the No. 1 overall seed?

Definitely. The resume-builders take some pressure off the squad, but plenty of teams will have their opportunity to dethrone them. No. 8 Maryland plays in Columbia on Dec. 12, No. 4 Stanford travels there nine days later, and the Huskies can enact their revenge on Jan. 27. We’ve got three more months of hoops where anything can happen, but there’s no understating how big those three wins were. No. 1 overall seed odds: South Carolina (even), UConn (4/1), NC State (5/1), UNC (8/1), Arizona (20/1), Baylor (30/1), Maryland (40/1), Indiana (75/1), Stanford (100/1), Field (10/1)

The takeaway

South Carolina may be the best team in women’s college basketball, but there’s a long season ahead. The Gamecocks face nine more top-25 teams on the calendar before the SEC tournament. Get excited, but maybe not too excited (yet), SC fans.

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