Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: Iowa Surges Behind Caitlin Clark In Crunch Time

Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: Iowa Surges Behind Caitlin Clark In Crunch Time

Caitlin Clark opened 2024 with a buzzer-beater, a triple-double and her own cereal, as Iowa continues to roll and climb the AP Top 25.

Jan 9, 2024 by Kyle Kensing
Women's AP Top 25 Round-Up: Iowa Surges Behind Caitlin Clark In Crunch Time

Unofficially, the opening week of 2024 was Crunch Time for Caitlin Clark and Iowa basketball. 

The Hawkeyes star rang in the New Year on Jan. 2 with a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer to cap a 40-point night vs. Michigan State. Clark followed up with a 29-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in Iowa's 103-69 rout of Rutgers. 

Then, on Monday, Clark revealed her own cereal, Crunch Time. 

Crunch Time is the latest indicator of Clark's meteoric ascent to basketball stardom. And as Clark's stock continues to rise, so too does Iowa. 

The 2023 Final Four participants are on a 12-game winning streak, a run only surpassed as of Jan. 9 by undefeated teams South Carolina, UCLA and Baylor. It's no wonder, then, that Iowa occupies the top four of the Associated Press Top 25 along with those three unbeaten squads. 

Iowa moved up a spot to No. 3 in the Jan. 8 poll, occupying the position that the previously undefeated North Carolina State held. The Wolf Pack suffered their first loss of 2023-24 in a 63-62 thriller on Sunday at Virginia Tech. 

Elizabeth Kitley's 27-point, 12-rebound double-double paced the Hokies to their seventh consecutive win, and added another significant bullet-point to her growing All-America resume. 

Kitley is averaging 20.9 points and 11.5 rebounds for Virginia Tech, now ranked No. 11, and has 10 double-doubles on the year. 

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The Hokies are one spot ahead of another surging team, Kansas State. The Wildcats check in at No. 12 while riding a nine-game winning streak. The Wildcats are undefeated since falling in a rematch with Iowa on Nov. 26, 77-70. 

The lone blemish on K-State's docket came less than two weeks after the Wildcats put on an unprecedented defensive clinic against the Hawkeyes. 

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Kansas State plays in its biggest game since seeing Iowa at the Gulf Coast Showcase, squaring off with No. 10-ranked Texas in a Big 12 showdown on Saturday. 

Other marquee matchups in the coming week include Tuesday night's BIG EAST contest pitting No. 23 Marquette against Seton Hall. The Pirates have proven to be dangerous when hosting Top 25-ranked opponents, routing UNLV on Dec. 16 for the Rebels' lone loss of the season. 

UNLV has since regrouped and returned to the poll this week at No. 25. 

Jan. 8 Women's AP Top 25

1. South Carolina

Record: 14-0

Previous: No. 1

2. UCLA 

Record: 14-0

Previous: No. 2

3. Iowa

Record: 15-1

Previous: No. 4

4. Baylor

Record: 14-0

Previous: No. 6

5. Colorado

Record: 13-1

Previous: No. 5

6. North Carolina State

Record: 14-1

Previous: No. 3

7. LSU

Record: 15-1

Previous: No. 7

8. Stanford 

Record: 14-1

Previous: No. 8

9. USC

Record: 12-1

Previous: No. 9

10. Texas

Record: 15-1

Previous: No. 10

11.Virginia Tech 

Record: 12-2

Previous: No. 13

12. Kansas State

Record: 15-1

Previous: No. 11

13. UConn

Record: 12-3

Previous: No. 12

14. Indiana

Record: 13-1

Previous: No. 14

15. Louisville

Record: 13-2

Previous: No. 17

16. Gonzaga

Record:14-2

Previous: No. 19

17. Ohio State

Record: 11-3

Previous: No. 20

18. Notre Dame

Record: 10-3

Previous: No. 18

19. Utah

Record: 11-4

Previous: No. 15

20. North Carolina 

Record: 11-4

Previous: No. 20

21. Florida State

Record: 12-4

Previous: No. 22

22. Creighton

Record: 11-3
Previous: No. 21

23. Marquette

Record: 13-2

Previous: No. 19

24. West Virginia 

Record: 13-1

Previous: No. 24

25. UNLV

Record: 12-1

Previous: Not Ranked