Tennessee edges LSU for top spot

The Southeastern Conference boasts three teams in the top five of the ESPN/USA Today preseason women's basketball poll released Wednesday: No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 LSU and No. 5 Georgia.

The Lady Vols, who got 15 of the 40 first-place votes and 944 points, also were picked as the preseason No. 1 in the SEC's voting and in some "unofficial" preseason polls.

Just 10 points behind, LSU got 10 first-place votes to go with its No. 1 nod from SLAM, and Texas was right behind the Tigers at No. 3 with nine votes for the top spot. The Longhorns got the No. 1 nod in Athlon's preseason rankings.

Defending champion Connecticut got the remaining six first-place votes in the coaches' poll and is ranked No. 4. The Huskies topped the Lady Vols 70-61 in April to win their third straight national title.

Duke, Stanford, Baylor, Ohio State and Texas Tech round out the top 10, with the last two tied for ninth. The Buckeyes weren't ranked at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Notre Dame is No. 11, followed by North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and Purdue. Interestingly, Vandy, which is ranked eight below Georgia by the national coaches, was the SEC's pick for preseason No. 3 over the Lady Bulldogs.

No matter how you stack the top teams, though, the SEC looks fully loaded.