Connecticut is the unanimous choice atop The Associated Press' preseason women's basketball poll.
|ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL|
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The Huskies, who finished last season with their eighth national championship, received all the first-place votes from the 36-member national media panel. It's the ninth time that UConn has been the top team in the preseason. Five of those years they went on to win the title.
Duke was second in the poll -- the best ranking since the Blue Devils finished at No. 1 in the final poll of 2007. They haven't been this highly ranked in the preseason since being No. 1 in the 2005 opening poll.
The Blue Devils are followed by Stanford, Tennessee and Louisville, which lost in the title game to UConn last season.
FAMILIAR TERRITORY: Connecticut has been the No. 1 team in the preseason poll nine times now, only trailing Tennessee which was No. 1 12 times since the poll began in 1976. The Huskies have gone on to win the national championship in five of those years (2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010).
BACK IN TOP 10: After being ranked 20th in the preseason poll last season, Tennessee is No. 4. Last season's ranking was the Lady Vols' lowest preseason ranking since they missed the first poll ever in 1976-77. Tennessee had only been out of the Top 10 in the preseason one other time and that was in 1984-85. In all, the Lady Vols have not been ranked just 14 times.
CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN: The Southeastern Conference led the way with six teams in the preseason Top 25 (Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Georgia). The Big 12, Big Ten and ACC all had four teams while the Pac-12 had three. The new American Athletic Conference had two with UConn and Louisville while the Big East was shutout. Two mid-majors made it in with Dayton and Gonzaga getting ranked. Both are making their first appearances in a preseason poll.
COMING IN: Five teams that weren't in the final poll last season are in the preseason Top 25 starting with No. 11 Oklahoma. Also unranked at the end of last season were: LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Gonzaga.
MILESTONES: Georgia coach Andy Landers has had a team in the Top 25 now 500 times with the Lady Bulldogs' No. 24 ranking. He's second all-time to Pat Summitt, who did it 618 times at Tennessee. Geno Auriemma moved into a tie with C. Vivian Stringer for fourth all-time at 407 weeks. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is third with 447 weeks.