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Oct. 27, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) - Brittney Griner and Baylor are picking up right where they finished last season -- at No. 1.
The Lady Bears are ranked at the top of the preseason women's basketball poll by The Associated Press for the second straight year. Baylor had the No. 1 spot for the entire season last year en route to its second national championship and a 40-0 record.
Connecticut, Duke, Stanford and Maryland round out the first five.
Duke returns a talented inside-outside combination with center Elizabeth Williams and guard Chelsea Grey. Williams is still recovering from a stress fracture in her lower right leg -- she played through it during the NCAA tournament.
Brenda Frese may have her deepest team at Maryland, although the Terrapins took a hit when sophomore point guard Brene Moseley tore her left anterior cruciate ligament in a scrimmage Sunday.
There are high expectations at No. 6 Kentucky this year. The Wildcats were predicted to win the SEC and have their highest ranking in the preseason poll ever. Kentucky was sixth for a few weeks last season.
Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisville and Georgia round out the top 10. It's Penn State's highest ranking since 2004.
Oklahoma, California, St. John's and Texas A&M follow the Blue Hens.
Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee are the next five. It's the Lady Vols' lowest ranking in the preseason poll since the team wasn't in the first poll ever in 1976-77. They've only been out of the Top 10 in the preseason one other time and that was in 1984-85.
Purdue, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Miami and DePaul round out the poll.
The Big East and SEC have five teams in the Top 25 with the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC each having four. Delaware is the only non-BCS school in the poll.