When Marquette women’s basketball picked up a #5 seed in last season’s NCAA tournament, an inevitability was suddenly launched into the atmosphere, quietly, and largely unnoticed at the time.
A #5 seed meant MU was regarded by the selection committee as one of the 20 best teams in the country last season. With all but one major contributor returning for 2017-18, it seemed almost obvious that Marquette would start the season ranked in the top 25.
That was confirmed on Thursday, when USA Today released the preseason edition of their coaches poll, where Marquette came in at #19. It’s the highest preseason ranking in program history, and Marquette’s first ranking since 2011, when they moved as high as #21.
The Golden Eagles earned 218 points from the ballots of the 32 coaches that voted, one from each conference with MU head coach Carolyn Kieger representing the Big East. They trail #18 Tennessee, who had 229 points, and lead #20 and conference rival DePaul, who racked up 156 points.
Marquette will play both Tennessee (Nov. 23 in Cancun) and DePaul (Jan. 4 & Jan. 29) this season, but that’s not the end of preseason ranked teams on the schedule. MU will have two road games in the non-conference portion of the schedule against teams in the preseason top 25. Marquette visits #23 Michigan on December 7th, and they will also travel to South Bend to take on #5 Notre Dame on December 20th. Villanova is the only other Big East team to earn a top 25 vote, as one of the coaches put the Wildcats at #25 on their ballot for a total of one point.
The Golden Eagles, who are the unanimous favorite to win the Big East this season, open up the 2017-18 campaign on November 13th when they visit New Mexico. The home opener will be on November 19th against Loyola-Maryland.
You can check out the full top 25 right here. Connecticut is not the unanimous preseason #1. #FireGeno