South Carolina finished the season where it started: at No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll.

The Gamecocks were the top choice all season long and became the first team since UConn in the 2017-18 season to be No. 1 from start to finish. It’s the second time in the past three seasons that South Carolina ended the season atop the poll. (UConn finished at No. 1 last season.)

South Carolina, which is the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament that begins this week, received 20 first-place votes from the 30-member national media panel Monday.

Coach Dawn Staley’s team went 11-0 against other AP Top 25 teams and even survived two losses to remain No. 1 in the poll during the season.

“I’m really proud of our team for how they’ve handled the season getting everyone’s best shot,” Staley said. “I’m happy to see that the schedule we played was recognized throughout the season, and the team could reap the rewards of that full body of work.”

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