South Carolina ends the women’s basketball season where it began it, at No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll to put the final bow on the Gamecocks’ second national championship season.
The Gamecocks went wire-to-wire in the top spot despite a regular-season loss at the start of SEC play and another in the conference tournament final. But South Carolina’s convincing NCAA tournament performance left no doubt about its No. 1 status, as the Gamecocks claimed all 30 first-place votes cast in the final balloting.
National runner-up Connecticut finishes at No. 2 in the poll, followed by fellow Final Four finishers Stanford and Louisville. North Carolina State, which played UConn to a double-overtime thriller before falling short in the Elite Eight, rounds out the top five.
TOP 25: Complete final USA TODAY Sports women’s basketball poll
Though the Big 12 and Big Ten weren’t represented in Minneapolis for championship weekend, those two power conferences did represent the rest of the top 10. Leading the way for the Big 12 is Texas at No. 6, with Iowa State finishing at No. 8 and Baylor just outside the top 10 at No. 11. Michigan heads the Big Ten contingent at No. 7 along with No. 9 Maryland and No. 10 Indiana.
Surprise Sweet 16 participants Creighton and South Dakota finish the year ranked No. 23 and 24 respectively.

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