BERKELEY – The California women’s basketball team has been tabbed No. 9 in the USA Today Sports Preseason Coaches’ 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.
Cal will play 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).
Rounding out the top 10 are No. 4 Tennessee, No. 5 Louisville, No. 6 Maryland, No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 8 Kentucky and No. 10 Baylor. Connecticut received 31 or 32 first-place votes with Tennessee receiving the other. The Pac-12 had four schools represented in Stanford, California, No. 19 Colorado and No. 25 UCLA.
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 Friday, Nov. 1 against Vanguard before beginning the regular season a week later 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 (31)
4. Tennessee (1)
7. Notre Dame
11. North Carolina
13. Texas A&M
15. Penn State
18. Michigan State
20. Iowa State
21. South Carolina
24. Oklahoma State