The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team received all 36 first place votes in the Associated Press' poll on Nov. 1, marking the ninth time that the Huskies are the top team in the preseason. UConn has gone on to win a national title in five of those nine seasons.
"I don't know that being preseason No. 1 necessarily gets you anything except some attention," Auriemma said. "But it's always nice when people want to talk about your players and program. We like that feeling."
UConn, led by sophomore Breanna Stewart, returns eight players from the 2012-13 team that went 35-4. Stewart was named the most outstanding player at the Final Four where the Huskies won their eighth national championship.
Connecticut, which last was the preseason No. 1 in 2010, opens the season Nov. 9 against Hartford before facing No. 3 Stanford on Nov. 11.
Duke was second in the poll, which is its best ranking since the Blue Devils finished No. 1 in the final poll of 2007. The Blue Devils haven’t been this highly ranked in the preseason since it was No. 1 in the 2005 opening poll.
Duke returns nine players from last year’s squad and is led by senior guard Chelsea Gray, who is working her way back from a dislocated kneecap in February that ended her season.
Stanford, led by senior Chiney Ogwumike, was third, followed by Tennessee.
Louisville matched its best ranking ever at No. 5. The Cardinals, who were also No. 5 in 2009, return four starters from last season's team that shocked the women's basketball landscape by knocking off Baylor in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals before falling to UConn in the title game.
"I've never been one that's been about where you start, I'm more concerned where we finish," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "It's an honor and shows what we've been able to do here in our six years. I think we've laid a very good foundation and we're not just a team that's had one good year, we're a program. We're a program that's here to stay and compete for years to come."
Notre Dame was sixth in the poll followed by Kentucky, Maryland, California and Baylor to round out the top-10.
Oklahoma, which was picked to win the Big-12 Conference, is sitting at No. 11. The Sooners are followed by North Carolina, Penn State, Dayton and LSU. Expectations are high for Dayton, which is making their first ever appearance in a preseason poll, as they return four starters from a their team that went 28-3.
Texas A&M, Nebraska, Purdue, Colorado and Michigan State are the next five. Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Iowa State, Georgia and Georgia round out the poll.
The Sooners were one of five teams in the poll not ranked at the end of last season. The others were LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Gonzaga.
The SEC has six teams in the Top 25; the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten each have four.
Tennessee has been voted No. 1 is the AP poll a record 12 times.
AP Top 25
· Others receiving votes: West Virginia 77, UCLA 70, Vanderbilt 61, Green Bay 48, DePaul 44, Chattanooga 41, Georgia Tech 39, Creighton 21, Middle Tennessee 11, Missouri 10, Marist 10, Texas 7, Washington 6, Quinnipiac 2, Florida State 2, James Madison 1, South Florida 1, UT Martin 1
· Dropped from rankings: UCLA 11, Delaware 15, Green Bay 20, Syracuse 22, Florida State 25