COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 29 Women's Illinois at Wisconsin
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South Carolina and Stanford have stayed consistent since preseason and remain the top two programs in the latest AP Top 25 poll. Meanwhile, Illinois cracked the poll for the first time since Nov. 27, 2000.

It took 8,072 days, but the Fighting Illini are finally seeing their efforts pay off. Illinois went 7-20 last season and won just one Big Ten conference game. The team hasn't seen a winning season since 2012-13, but it's clear first-year coach Shauna Green is steering the program in the right direction. 

Illinois fell to No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday, but they kept it competitive in the 81-87 result. The Fighting Illini's 14-3 record also includes a win against then-No. 12 Iowa on Jan. 1.

Also on Sunday, the California Golden Bears went toe-to-toe with Stanford, but the Cardinal survived thanks to a dominant performance by Cameron Brink that included 25 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.

Another team having a solid season is LSU. The Tigers are still undefeated after wins over Texas A&M and Kentucky last week. They are No. 5 this week -- the program's best ranking since 2009.

Baylor made the biggest jump, as the Lady Bears climbed five spots following a 75-62 victory on the road against a ranked Kansas team. UConn went one spot up to No. 4 after a 73-37 victory over Xavier last Thursday. Their game against DePaul on Sunday was postponed because the Huskies did not have have the Big East-minimum seven scholarship student-athletes active due to injuries.

AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sunday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week's ranking:

RankTeamRecordPointsPrev.
1South Carolina (28)16-07001
2Stanford16-16712
3Ohio State17-06453
4UConn13-25875
5LSU16-05827
6Indiana14-15745
7Notre Dame12-25434
8UCLA14-245712
9Maryland13-342713
10Utah14-14278
11NC State13-337010
12Iowa12-435216
13Virginia Tech13-33429
14Arizona14-234115
15Iowa State10-330711
16Duke14-128119
17Michigan13-326114
18Baylor12-325323
19Oklahoma12-221217
20Gonzaga16-219720
21Oregon12-414418
22North Carolina10-512622
23Kansas12-29921
24Illinois14-342NR
25Villanova14-335NR

Others receiving votes: Arkansas 33, Middle Tennessee 27, St. John's 22, Miami 10, South Florida 6, Seton Hall 5, Florida St. 5, Creighton 5, Colorado 2, Louisville 1.