The Baylor women’s basketball team will carry the nation’s No. 1 ranking into the regular season for the first time in program history.
The Lady Bears, who return four starters from a 34-3 team, received 33 of 40 first-place votes in The Associated Press’ preseason poll released today. It marked Baylor’s loftiest preseason perch, eclipsing a No. 2 start last year.
Texas A&M, the defending NCAA champion, placed sixth in the preseason poll and received one first-place vote. Other Big 12 teams in the Top 25 include No. 15 Oklahoma and No. 24 Texas.
Baylor is the first Big 12 school to carry the No. 1 ranking into the season since Texas in 1986.
“This is great recognition for our program,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey. “Regardless of where you’re ranked at the beginning of the season, it’s a positive for your university. We’ll embrace it but also keep in mind that it doesn’t win basketball games.”
_ Jimmy Burch