Connecticut Huskies on Top of College Basketball Coaches’ Poll

The pre-seasons polls are out for women’s college basketball. Not surprisingly, the Connecticut Huskies are the top-ranked team.

The Connecticut Huskies have won four straight national championships and they enter the 2016/17 season as the favorites for another according to the NCAA women’s college basketball coaches’ poll. The Huskies no longer have Breanna Stewart as she just recently completed a successful season with the Seattle Storm in the WNBA, winning Rookie of the Year honors. Her not on the team certainly gives Connecticut a new look, but nothing has changed at the top as Geno Auriemma, who is one of the surest best for success in sports, will go for yet another national championship.

Auriemma, after picking up his 11th NCAA title back in the spring, was busy during the off-season as well. He was the head coach of the women’s national team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, helping the athletes get a gold medal. The lopsidedness of his wins, whether in the Olympics or in college, often draws some criticism out for those that feel that women’s basketball is not competitive. Similar arguments are made against Canadian international dominance in hockey. However, it’s a matter that Auriemma brushes aside.

“We’re never going to apologize for being that good,” he said after blowing out several teams in Rio. “We’re never going to apologize for setting a standard that other people aspire to achieve.”

Heading into the 2016 season, several streaks of his and the school’s remain active. As the UCONN Huskies prepare for the upcoming season, the following streaks are all alive, including one that dates back more than 20 years:

  • Connecticut have won four straight national championships
  • Connecticut have made the Sweet 16 every year starting in 1994
  • Connecticut have made the Elite 8 every year starting in 2006
  • Connecticut have made the Final Four every year starting in 2008

The challengers, according to the pre-season coaches’ poll (source: ESPN), are Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Baylor. Each of those three teams received some votes to start the season as No. 1. Texas also received a vote, however they enter the season 7th in the poll.

They will all be looking to restore a degree of parity to women’s college basketball. But if you’ve followed the sport, then you may have seen this show before. If UCONN starts the year off No. 1, then they could stay there right until the final buzzer in the final game.

Shane Lambert