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UConn overwhelming No. 1 pick in preseason coaches' poll

Connecticut is the overwhelming pick as the No. 1 team in the ESPN/USA Today women's basketball preseason poll released Wednesday.

The Huskies picked up 30 of 31 first-place votes and 773 total points, easily outdistancing No. 2 Stanford, which had 676 points. Rutgers is No. 3, North Carolina No. 4 and Maryland No. 5.

Connecticut lost to Stanford in last year's NCAA tournament semifinals. Rutgers, North Carolina and Maryland were all regional finalists a year ago.

Defending national champion Tennessee is sixth, followed by Oklahoma, Duke, California and Texas A&M. Oklahoma was 19th in last year's final poll, while Cal was 18th.

Louisville opens the season at No. 11, followed by Vanderbilt, Texas, Notre Dame and a tie between Oklahoma State and Virginia. Texas returns to the preseason poll -- the Longhorns were not ranked in the final poll of 2008.

LSU, a national semifinalist a year ago, opens the season ranked 22nd.