Women's Basketball No. 12 in preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's basketball team is ranked No. 12 entering the 2005-06, according to the Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll, released on Tuesday. The AP poll is conducted by a national media panel. Last week, Jody Conradt's Longhorns also were picked No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Preseason Poll, which is done by collegiate women's coaches.
Texas will face seven of the teams - and a possible eighth - ranked in the Top 25 this season.
Duke led the AP preseason poll with 1,1,07 points, edging Tennessee by five points for the top spot even though the Lady Vols had more first-place votes - 23 for Tennessee to Duke's 17.
This is the 500th poll since The AP began ranking women's team in 1976 , and had the closest vote for No. 1 since the news media took over the voting from coaches in 1994. The closest voting previously in a preseason media poll was Tennessee's 29-point margin over Texas last year.
Three teams split the remaining first-place votes. No. 3 LSU received three first-place votes; No. 6 Baylor, the defending national champion, had two first-place votes and eighth-ranked Georgia got one first-place vote.
Ohio State was fourth, Rutgers fifth and North Carolina seventh. Connecticut held the No. 9 spot and Michigan State starts out at No. 10 with Stanford (11th), Texas (12th), Texas Tech, Maryland and Notre Dame rounding out the top 15-ranked teams. Rounding out the poll: Minnesota, followed by Vanderbilt, DePaul, Purdue, Arizona State, Temple, Utah, North Carolina State, Southern Cal and Oklahoma.
Of the seven opponents ranked in the AP Preseason Top 25, Texas will face No. 2 Tennessee and No. 1 Duke in back-to-back games early in the season. UT travels to Tennessee (Thr., Dec. 1, 6 p.m. on ESPN2) before hosting the No. 1 ranked Blue Devils (Sun., Dec. 4, 12:30 p.m., FSN). Additionally, Texas squares off against No. 5 Rutgers (Fri., Dec. 30, 6 p.m. at Piscataway on CSTV) and the following Big 12 opponents: No. 6 Baylor (at Baylor on Sat., Jan. 7, 3 p.m. on FSN; at Austin on Wed., Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m. on FSN); No. 13 Texas Tech (Wed., Feb. 1, 5 p.m. on ESPNU at Lubbock; and in Austin on Sun., Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. on ESPN2); and No. 25 Oklahoma (Wed., Jan. 25, 7 p.m. on CSTV in Norman, Okla.; and Wed., Feb. 15 in Austin at 7 p.m.).
Additionally, the Longhorns might face an eighth AP ranked team - Purdue - if the two squads face each other in the second round of the Junkanoo Jam Tournament in Freeport, Bahamas during Thanksgiving weekend.
The Longhorns will return to the court on Thursday, Nov. 10 for their final of two exhibition games. UT hosts the Houston Jaguars, a team comprised of current and former WNBA players and European players, at 7 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.
UT's season opener is next Friday - Nov. 18 - at home against New Mexico. New Mexico was ranked 26th in the "also receiving votes" category of the AP Poll, just missing out on being a Top 25 team.
Tipoff for the Texas-New Mexico game is at 7 p.m., and the game theme is Breast Cancer Awareness Night. At the game, there will be information booths about breast cancer, acknowledgment of breast cancer survivors among the crowd, and "Stories of Hope", a video presentation involving stories from survivors and messages from the Longhorn players and supporters.