The Associated Press women’s basketball preseason poll dropped on Tuesday morning, and it was an historic one for the Arizona Wildcats. The team came in ranked No. 7, breaking the preseason top 10 for the first time in program history.
Last season, the Wildcats came in with high expectations but were ignored by the voters for weeks. Even the dominant road win over Texas didn’t impress enough voters to get the team in the Top 25. It wasn’t until Pac-12 play that Arizona finally busted through.
After wrapping up the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and getting to the semifinal round, the Wildcats were sitting at No. 12 and looking to host the opening round of the NCAA Tournament when everything came to a screeching halt.
The Wildcats are ranked as high as fourth by Ben Portnoy of the Columbus (MS) Dispatch and as low as ninth by Greg Hadley of Columbia, South Carolina’s The State. Every voter whose votes were available on the AP site had Arizona in their first 10.
Other Pac-12 teams in the rankings include Stanford (2), which garnered the only first-place vote that didn’t go to South Carolina. Just behind Arizona were UCLA (9) and Oregon (10). Oregon State came in at No. 18 to round out the ranked teams in the league, but Arizona State wound up on the “others receiving votes” list.