UConn stays No. 1 in AP poll

Connecticut remains No. 1 in The Associated Press poll after two easy victories while Middle Tennessee makes its first appearance in the poll since 2009.

The Huskies routed Memphis and South Florida to improve to 21-0 this season. UConn visits Temple and Cincinnati this week, as Geno Auriemma will coach against two of his former assistants.

Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford and Louisville followed the Huskies, with the first five teams unchanged in Monday's vote. This was the fourth straight week that the first five teams in the poll remained unchanged.

Undefeated Notre Dame continues its tough road swing with a trip to No. 8 Maryland on Monday night before facing third-ranked Duke on Sunday. The Irish (18-0) also host Virginia Tech on Thursday.

The Fighting Irish are off to the second-best start to a season in program history, just five wins short of the 2000-01 team that went 23-0.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Baylor and Tennessee round out the first 10.

North and South Carolina continue to move up the rankings. It's North Carolina's best ranking since Nov. 29, 2009, when the Tar Heels were fourth. South Carolina hasn't been ranked this high since the Gamecocks were also seventh on Jan. 21, 2002.

Baylor moved back into the Top 10 this week after falling to No. 12 last week. The Lady Bears beat then-No. 8 Oklahoma State in overtime on Sunday. Last week marked the first time since the final poll of the 2009-10 season that Baylor had fallen out of the first 10.

Middle Tennessee entered at No. 25, the Blue Raiders' first ranking since Nov. 16, 2009. Nebraska fell out.

The Blue Raiders have the fourth-longest active winning streak with 16 straight victories, matching Iona. They're led by senior Ebony Rowe, who broke the school's 27-year old scoring record on Saturday. She has 2,158 points in her career.

"She's just been a great young lady, a great leader, and a great student-athlete," head coach Rick Insell said. "Very few of those come along. She's very humble."

The Blue Raiders will get to enjoy a few extra days off as their game against Southern Miss scheduled for Wednesday was postponed to Feb. 5 because of the threat of inclement weather. Middle Tennessee visits Tulsa on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.