NEW YORK (AP) – Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame start the new season in which they finished: on women's college basketball.
The Irish were the No. 1 team in the basketball preseason survey of The Associated Press. released on Wednesday.
National defending champions received 31 first-place votes from a national media panel. It's the second time that McGraw's team has been the No. 1 preseason team. It also happened in 2016. The Irish returned four team holders last season who fought a group of ACL injuries before winning the second national championship of the school. McGraw was honored that the team ranked first, but he feels there are many good teams in college basketball this year.
"Parity is coming in. I think there are a lot of good teams that are on the radar and some that are below, it will be interesting to see," he said. "People picked up some good freshmen."
UConn was the second in the poll, finishing a series of 34 consecutive weeks in the No. 1. The Huskies have been in the top five each week since January 29, 2007. Then followed the Oregon Huskies, winning the best ranking in the history of the program. Los Patos have great expectations this year.
"Look what we've done in a few years, that does not happen very often at a Power Five conference," said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. "It is difficult to make a move in these conferences with established powers, I am proud of what we have done and I hope to move forward, I felt that this was a sleeping giant here, everything was in place so that we can be considered among the best programs. That started to work alone. "
Baylor and Louisville were fourth and fifth.
The state of Mississippi, Stanford, Oregon State, Maryland and South Carolina completed the top 10 teams. Eight is the best ranking in the preseason for the state of Oregon in the history of the programs.
Here are some other tricks of the top 25 classifieds of the preseason:
LET'S STRETCH: UConn kept its streak of being in the ranking Appearing in the Top 25 for the 470th consecutive week. That's 191 more weeks than Baylor, who is second on the active list. Notre Dame, Maryland and South Carolina complete the five best active seasons. Tennessee continues to occupy the longest position in 565 consecutive weeks in the survey that ended in 2016.
RETURN OF THE HAWKEYES: Iowa was in the preseason for the first time since the 2014 survey. Position No. 13 was the best of the team since February 16, 2015, when the Hawkeyes were also 13th. Iowa has not been ranked higher than No. 13 since it was 11 in the 1997 season.
BREAKING OF THE CONFERENCE: The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeast Conference had six teams in the Top 25. Each Pac-12 had five with the American, Big East, Big Ten and Big 12 each with two.