The Associated Press released its final Top 25 of the women’s basketball season today, and your University of Wildcats came in at No. 16.
After a 22-8 season, Matthew Mitchell’s Wildcats are one of five SEC teams in the the poll, along with No. 1 South Carolina, No. 9 Mississippi State, No. 18 Texas A&M, and No. 24 Arkansas. In-state rival Louisville is No. 6.
|1. South Carolina (26)||32-1||746||1|
|2. Oregon (4)||31-2||724||2|
|8. NC State||28-4||543||8|
|9. Mississippi St.||27-6||505||9|
|14. Oregon St.||23-9||321||14|
|17. South Dakota||30-2||259||17|
|18. Texas A&M||22-8||246||19|
|19. Florida St.||24-8||239||18|
|23. Missouri St.||26-4||121||23|
|25. Arizona St.||20-11||31||25|
- Others receiving votes: TCU 11, Ohio St. 10, Boston College 6, Marquette 5, Rutgers 4, Florida Gulf Coast 3, Texas 2, Boise St. 2, Iowa St. 2, Duke 1, Cent Michigan 1.
Speaking of women’s basketball, ESPN’s Graham Hays gave Rhyne Howard a much-deserved shoutout in his article about the biggest “What Ifs” of the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
Rhyne Howard’s ascension
The NCAA tournament often sets up seasons to come. Remember Ionescu leading 10th-seeded Oregon to an unlikely regional final as a freshman? Or A’ja Wilson experiencing the disappointment of a Sweet 16 upset loss as a sophomore? That was the space Kentucky’s Howard occupied this month. The nation’s second-leading scorer this season, and the salve for all the turmoil that surrounded the Wildcats not so long ago, Howard might have done something special with a team that Charlie Creme projected as a No. 6 seed — a sweet spot for surprises that allows an underdog to avoid a No. 1 seed for a long time. But long run or early exit, whatever Howard did would have set up one of the sport’s biggest stories next season.
How incredible was Howard’s sophomore season? This infographic from Kentucky sums it up.