NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Walz has Louisville in uncharted territory.
The undefeated Cardinals moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday, the highest ranking in school history.
“I’m really excited for them,” Walz told the AP in a phone interview. “Obviously being No. 2 in January is a great honor and shows the work our players have done, but it’s not our ultimate goal. We’re quite aware there’s a lot of basketball left to be played against a lot of very good teams.”
The Cardinals moved up the one spot after routing then-No. 2 Notre Dame 100-67 on Thursday to remain unbeaten. Louisville has never been this high before since first getting ranked in 2006.
Only UConn is above Louisville, remaining a unanimous top choice by the 32-member national media panel. The Huskies face No. 9 Texas on Monday night after routing Houston on Saturday.
“I love games like this,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of playing two games in three days. “I especially love them on the road, and I especially love them Monday after a Saturday game because when you get to the NCAA Tournament that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”
Mississippi State, Baylor and Notre Dame follow the Cardinals, who were second on 30 of the 32 ballots.
Tennessee, Oregon, Ohio State and South Carolina round out the first 10 teams in the poll.
Other tidbits from the poll:
BIG TEN SHOWDOWN: Ohio State and No. 19 Michigan will play on Tuesday for the second time this month. The Buckeyes came away with an overtime victory in the first meeting. Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell became the 13th player to reach 3,000 points over the weekend and can move further up the scoring list on Tuesday. Katelynn Flaherty became Michigan’s all-time scoring leader this weekend as well, passing former men’s star Glen Rice’s mark.
NON-CONFERENCE CHALLENGE: Sixth-ranked Tennessee visits No. 5 Notre Dame on Thursday in a big-time non-conference contest. The Lady Vols edged the Irish by two points last season in Knoxville.
STAYING PUT: For the first time in four weeks, no teams fell out of the poll.