Five Pac-12 women's basketball teams in AP Preseason Top 25 for sixth consecutive year
SAN FRANCISCO – For the sixth consecutive year, five Pac-12 women’s basketball teams are ranked in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25. The Conference’s six-year run with at least that many teams appearing in the AP’s debut poll is the longest active streak in the nation.
The group is led by defending national champion and No. 3 Stanford, which received five of the 29 available first-place votes. Oregon debuts at No. 10 for the second year in row and No. 14 Oregon State appears in its eighth consecutive preseason poll. UCLA checks in at No. 20, while national runner-up Arizona is No. 22. Washington State is among 14 teams receiving votes.
The Pac-12’s five ranked teams are tied with the ACC and Big Ten for the most in the country. The Conference has had a larger proportion of its teams appear in each of the past three preseason polls (41.67 percent) than any other league. Six of the SEC’s 14 teams (42.86 percent) were in the 2018-19 preseason top 25.
In a first for the Conference, the Pac-12 is coming off a season in which its top two regular-season finishers – Stanford and Arizona – met for the national championship. The 2021 title game was just the seventh time in NCAA women’s basketball history that two teams from the same league met for a championship and was the first to feature two schools from west of the Mississippi River since 1986 (Texas vs. USC).
Over the last six seasons, the Pac-12 leads all conferences in Final Four appearances (6), NCAA Tournament wins (70), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.707) and WBCA All-Americans (13). In the first year using the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) for women’s basketball, four of the top 10 teams in the final NET rankings for 2021 were from the Pac-12 in national champion Stanford (No. 1), national runner-up Arizona (No. 7), UCLA (No. 8) and Oregon (No. 10), a total double any other league. The Pac-12 was also the nation’s top-rated conference by RPI in three of the final five seasons (2016, 2017, 2020) that metric was used by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
2021-22 ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON TOP 25
|Rank||Team (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||South Carolina (14)||705|
|5.||North Carolina State||589|