Jan. 29, 2001

AP Sports Writer

Notre Dame remained No. 1, Oklahoma made the Top Ten for the first time and Xavier reached its highest ranking ever Monday in The AP women’s basketball poll.

Baylor and Wisconsin both returned to the Top 25 after being ranked earlier.

The top six teams stayed the same, with Notre Dame a unanimous choice for the second week in a row. The Irish became No. 1 for the first time in school history last week and beat West Virginia 87-64 in their only game.

Notre Dame (19-0), the nation’s only unbeaten Division I women’s team, received all 39 first-place votes from the national media panel and had 975 points.

Connecticut (17-1), which has lost only to Notre Dame, held at No. 2 with 932 points and was followed by Tennessee (21-1), Duke (20-1), Georgia (18-3) and Purdue (19-3).

Tennessee and Duke both won three times during the past week. Duke was especially impressive Sunday in a 92-42 rout of Clemson, which has been in the Top 25 the last six weeks.

Louisiana Tech moved up one spot to seventh after two decisive victories and traded places with Iowa State, which slipped to eighth after splitting two games – a 79-74 loss at Baylor and a 95-61 victory over Colorado.

Florida climbed one spot to ninth and Oklahoma jumped two places to 10th after a solid win over Texas Tech. The Sooners’ highest ranking previously had been 11th the week of Jan. 12, 1986.

Louisiana State held at No. 11 and Texas Tech fell three places to 12th. Then it was Southwest Missouri State, Rutgers and Xavier, followed by Penn State, Clemson, Utah, Vanderbilt and Baylor.

Texas, Oregon, Colorado, Villanova and Wisconsin held the final five spots.

Xavier (17-2) moved up three places to 15th after winning three times during the past week. Before this season, Xavier had appeared in the poll only once – at No. 24 in the final rankings last season.

Baylor (15-3) returned to the Top 25 after being out for one week. The Bears dropped out after losing three straight, but bounced back with victories over Iowa State and Texas – the first time they have beaten ranked teams back to back.

The win over Iowa State was Baylor’s first against a Top Ten team.

Wisconsin (12-7), ranked the first six weeks of the season, has been up and down and comes into the poll off a loss – 75-70 in overtime at Purdue. The Badgers had won four straight before that game, in which they outshot and outrebounded the Boilermakers.

North Carolina State and Arizona dropped out.

NC State (11-8) has lost four straight – by margins of one, seven, three and six points. The Wolfpack were ranked 22nd last week and had been as high as 13th.

Arizona (14-5), which was 23rd, lost to Arizona State in its only game last week, the Wildcats’ third straight loss.