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The 31-year streak continues for Tennessee, barely

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The 31-year streak continues for Tennessee, barely.

Despite two losses last week, the Lady Vols still checked in at No. 23 in the AP women's Top 25 on Monday, extending their run to 563 consecutive weeks of being ranked, dating to Feb. 17, 1985.

Tennessee lost by a point at Kentucky and by two points at Mississippi State last week before beating Alabama on Sunday. The Lady Vols fell four spots Monday — their lowest ranking since being No. 24 on Nov. 12, 2012.

Tennessee (13-8) hosts Arkansas on Thursday before visiting No. 12 Texas A&M on Sunday.

"Honestly, I didn't know what we were ranked to begin with," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said over the weekend. "I don't even think about it. It comes down to look, this team is a work in progress. We're not concerned about rankings. This is a journey.

"I've been saying we may not win the battles, but we're going to win the war. It's a process for us. We don't sit around and worry and think about where we're ranked."

With eight losses, the Lady Vols have the most defeats for a ranked team at this point since the 1999-2000 season, according to STATS.

UConn remained a unanimous No. 1. The Huskies easily won two games last week by an average of 53.5 points. UConn plays Tulane and East Carolina before a game at second-ranked South Carolina next Monday.

Notre Dame, Baylor and Maryland once again rounded out the top 5. Texas, Ohio State, Arizona State and Oregon State followed the Terrapins as the top nine teams stayed unchanged.

Florida and Oklahoma State both re-entered the Top 25 this week. DePaul and West Virginia fell out.

A few more tidbits from this week's poll:

WESTERN DOMINANCE: The Pac-12 once again has five teams ranked, led by No. 8 Arizona State and ninth-ranked Oregon State. UCLA is 14th, Stanford 15th and Washington 24th. USC and California have also spent time in the Top 25 this season meaning the league has had seven different teams ranked at one point in the season.

DOUBLE RANKED GAMES: Starting with Monday night's game between Arizona State and Oregon State, there are 10 games this week between ranked opponents. Clearly the Pac-12 has a bunch of them, but also there's an ACC matchup between No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 13 Louisville on Sunday. South Carolina hosts No. 18 Kentucky on Thursday.

STRUGGLING WILDCATS: Kentucky started off the week with a one-point win over Tennessee before dropping games to Vanderbilt and Florida. The Wildcats dropped six spots to No. 18.


AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee contributed to this story.


Here's a link for the Top 25 and how the pollsters voted: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/Womens-Top-25-2016-13


Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

PHOTO: Tennessee's Te'a Cooper, center, tries to dribble past Alabama's Nikki Hegstetter during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Tennessee beat Alabama, 70-42. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tennessee's Te'a Cooper, center, tries to dribble past Alabama's Nikki Hegstetter during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Tennessee beat Alabama, 70-42. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

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