'Horns hadn't been No. 1 since 1987-88

Say howdy to the new No. 1 team in women's basketball. After a long absence, the Texas Longhorns and coach Jody Conradt are back on top.

Texas replaced Tennessee at No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll Monday -- the school's 46th appearance as the leader, but its first since the week of Dec. 28, 1987.

"I've been feeling for a while this is a good team,'' Conradt said. "This is a team that I think deserves some recognition for
their hard work and talent.

"I don't get up every day and look at the poll and it doesn't change what we do. It's just something the players and the fans
take pride in.''

The Longhorns' move kept the revolving door at the top of the poll spinning. It was the third time in six weeks the lead changed hands, an abrupt switch after two-plus seasons of Connecticut hogging the No. 1 spot.

A path to the top opened after Tennessee lost to Connecticut and last week's No. 2 team, Duke, was upset by Florida State.

Texas (21-2), moving up from third, received 29 of the 47 first-place votes from a national media panel and had 1,154 points -- 11 more than Connecticut. UConn (18-2), fourth last week, received the remaining 18 first-place votes.

"It's got to be a motivating factor for us,'' Texas guard Jamie Carey said. "There has been such a high turnover rate at the top this season it's going to be hard to stay there.''

Tennessee (19-2), which had been No. 1 for two weeks, dropped to third. Duke (18-3) slipped to fourth.

There also was change at the bottom of the poll. No. 24 Arizona and No. 25 Houston returned after being ranked earlier. Miami and Notre Dame dropped out.

Texas became the fourth team to be ranked No. 1 this season, following Connecticut, Duke and Tennessee. The AP women's poll started in 1975 and there has been only one other season, 1987-88, when as many as four teams ranked No. 1.

The Longhorns have wins over Duke and Tennessee and lead the nation in victories. They have won seven straight and 14 of their last 15.

"Wearing No. 1 on our back will create an even more intense list of opponents,'' Carey said. "If anything, this team will have to focus more.''

Purdue moved up one spot to fifth, while No. 6 Louisiana Tech and No. 7 Texas Tech each climbed two places. After losing to Minnesota, Penn State dropped three spots to eighth. Kansas State was ninth and Minnesota advanced three places to 10th.

Stanford dropped from seventh to 11th after losing at Arizona and Arizona State. Colorado was 12th and DePaul 13th, followed by Auburn, North Carolina, LSU, Michigan State, Baylor, Georgia and Florida.

Virginia Tech, TCU, Southwest Missouri State, Arizona and Houston held the final five places.

Arizona, ranked in the first three polls of the season, followed its 88-83 victory over Stanford with a 77-59 win over California. The Wildcats (18-5) have won six of their last seven to take over first place in the Pac-10.

Houston was 25th in mid-January, then dropped out the following week after an overtime loss to Louisville. The Cougars (19-3) have bounced back to win four in a row, including an 83-78 victory over Tulane in three overtimes on Sunday. Houston star Chandi Jones matched her career high with 39 points in that game.

Miami, 22nd last week, dropped out after an 83-65 loss at Connecticut. The Hurricanes had been ranked for five weeks.

Notre Dame returned to the poll last week at 23rd but lost at Seton Hall after beating Georgetown.

Auburn made the biggest jump within the poll, moving from 19th to 14th after beating Kentucky and LSU. TCU matched Stanford for the biggest drop, falling four places to 22nd after losing to South Florida.