BERKELEY – The California women’s basketball team will open the season No. 9 in the Associated Press Preseason Poll, matching the top preseason ranking in program history as the Bears prepare for a new season after making it to the NCAA Final Four last year.
California enters the new year with the distinction of being the only team in the country that will play the three top-ranked teams in the poll. In total, Cal’s regular season schedule has the Golden Bears playing four games against the top three preseason teams with a neutral site game against No. 1 Connecticut (December 22 in New York City), a home game against No. 2 Duke (November 10) and a home-and-home series against No. 3 Stanford (January 30 in Palo Alto, February 2 in Berkeley).
The Bears, who were also ranked No. 9 in the USA Today Sports Preseason Coaches’ Poll, are also scheduled to play an away game at No. 19 Colorado (January 19).
The top 10 teams in the AP poll begin with Connecticut, who received all 36 first-place votes, followed by Duke, Stanford, Tennessee, Louisville, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Maryland, California and Baylor. The Pac-12 had three teams in the poll (Stanford, California, Colorado).
The Golden Bears went 32-4 last season and won a share of the first Pac-12 regular season title in program history with a 17-1 conference record. The Golden Bears return seven letterwinners and three starters, including preseason national player of the year candidates Brittany Boyd and Gennifer Brandon.
The Bears open the year with a free exhibition game on tonight (Friday, Nov. 1) against Vanguard and host an open practice on Sunday, November 3, beginning at 11 a.m. at Haas Pavilion. The regular season begins next Friday, November 8, against Long Beach State. Single game, season ticket and mini-plan packages are available through the Cal Athletic Ticket Office, online or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.
USA Today Sports Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Connecticut (36)
6. Notre Dame
12. North Carolina
13. Penn State
16. Texas A&M
20. Michigan State
21. Oklahoma State
22. South Carolina
23. Iowa State