AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's basketball team was ranked No. 25 Wednesday as the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 (media poll) was announced. Jody Conradt's Longhorns are set to go up against seven of the teams ranked in the AP preseason poll, with four of UT's opponents ranked in the top 11.
Head coach Jody Conradt's squad was one of five teams ranked in the preseason poll who were not ranked at the end of the 2005-06 season, joining Kentucky, Vanderbilt, California and Southern Cal as one of those five teams. Last year, injuries depleted the Longhorns' roster and the team suffered only its third losing season (going 13-15) in 32 years of program history.
Texas has been ranked in the preseason Top 25 every year but two since the poll was started in the early 1980's.
Seven months after winning its first national championship in women's basketball, Maryland is No. 1 in the preseason for the first time. The Terrapins picked up 47 of the 49 first-place votes, finishing with 1,246 points. Following them were North Carolina (1,161, 1 first-place vote), Oklahoma (1,148, 2 first-place votes), Stanford (1,079) and Tennessee (1,072). Last year, North Carolina, joined Maryland and No. 6 Duke to form an Atlantic Coast Conference trio in the Women's Final Four in Boston along with the SEC's LSU. Maryland beat Duke in overtime for the title.
Rounding out the top 10 are: No. 7 Ohio State, followed by Connecticut, Georgia and LSU.
Of the teams ranked in the AP preseason poll, four are from the Big 12 Conference - No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 19 Baylor and Texas.
The Longhorns will face No. 5 Tennessee and No. 6 Duke in back-to-back December games, going to Durham, N.C. For a Dec. 10th matchup with the Blue Devils (noon CT, on ESPNU) before coming home to host No. 5 Tennessee (Dec. 17, 12:30 p.m. CT on FSN TV). Texas squares off against No. 11 ranked Purdue in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge held in Austin on Jan. 7 (2 p.m., ESPN2) and goes to No. 18 New Mexico (Nov. 17, 8 p.m. CT).
The Longhorns will meet Big 12 opponents Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Baylor in home-and-home contests. UT squares off against Oklahoma on Jan. 31 at Austin (ESPNU TV) and Feb. 12 at OU in an ESPN2 "Big Monday" contest; Texas meets the Aggies in two State Farm Lone Star State Showdowns on Jan. 21 (in Austin on FSN, 2 p.m.) and at College Station (Feb. 28, 6 or 8 p.m.). Additionally, the two Texas-Baylor games will be broadcast on College Sports TV (CSTV) and will take place in Austin (Jan. 24, 7 p.m.) and in Waco (Feb. 18, 2 p.m.).
New Mexico and No. 24 BYU are the only teams in the Top 25 that had never before appeared in the preseason poll.
Texas kicks off the 2006-07 schedule by hosting the four-team, three-day Basketball Traveler Classic at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin from Sunday-Tuesday, Nov. 10-12. The other three teams are Louisiana-Lafayette, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Texas State.
The full slate of games is as follows:
Sunday, Nov. 12 - Texas State vs. La.-Lafayette, 4 p.m.; Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. TEXAS, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 13 - Texas State vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 5 p.m.; Louisiana-Lafayette vs. TEXAS, 7:30 p.m. (FSN SW TV)
Tuesday, Nov. 14 - Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. La.-Lafayette, 5 p.m.; Texas State vs. TEXAS, 7:30 p.m.