NEW YORK (AP) — Geno Auriemma and his UConn Huskies were in a familiar spot — atop the Big East.
The sixth-ranked Huskies were the preseason pick to win the conference again by the league’s coaches Tuesday.
They enter the season as the two-time reigning champions, winning the Big East both years since rejoining the conference. In total, UConn has won 21 Big East regular-season titles and 20 conference tournaments.
The Huskies will be missing star Paige Bueckers for the season after she tore her ACL in the summer. They still are loaded with three All-Big East preseason players and the conference’s Freshman of the Year Ayanna Patterson.
Creighton was the second choice by the coaches. The Bluejays are coming off their best season ever with a trip to the Elite Eight. They earned their first-ever preseason ranking in the AP women’s basketball poll, coming in at No. 21. Expectations are high this season.
Villanova was picked third and is led by reigning Big East Player of the Year Maddy Siegrist, who was the unanimous choice to repeat.
DePaul and Seton Hall were tied for fourth in the poll.
Marquette, St. John’s Providence, Butler, Georgetown and Xavier round out the Big East preseason choices.
The Big East announced a three-year extension to their deal with the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut to keep the conference tournament there through 2026.
“Over the last two years, Mohegan Sun Arena has proven to be a tremendous home for the Big East women’s basketball tournament,” said conference commissioner Val Ackerman. “The facility and amenities are world class, and the unmatched support for women’s basketball in Connecticut has created an exciting atmosphere for our coaches, student-athletes and fans. We look forward to returning to Uncasville this March and for many years to come.”
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll
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