Minnesota Women's BB Team Picked Third by Coaches

The Big Ten women's basketball coaches have selected Ohio State as the preseason league favorite for the 2004-05 season, while two-time defending Conference Tournament champion Purdue has been tabbed the preseason front-runner by members of the Big Ten media. Ohio State, which finished 21-10 and third in the Conference last season with an 11-5 record, is the lone team to be ranked in the top three in both the coaches and media polls. Minnesota was picked third by the coaches.

The Buckeyes are ranked second by the media behind the Boilermakers, who finished runner-up in the League last year at 14-2 in Conference play and 29-4 overall. The media listed two-time defending Big Ten champion Penn State third after its 28-6 (15-1) record in 2003-04. League coaches ranked Michigan State second and Minnesota third. The Spartans tied for fourth in the Big Ten last year at 10-6 in the Conference and 22-9 overall, while Minnesota is coming off a historical 2003-04 campaign in which the Gophers finished 25-9 and 9-7 in league play and made their first ever Final Four appearance. For the first time since 1997, neither Penn State nor Purdue were ranked in the coaches poll as the two programs have combined to capture the league's regular season title each of the past six years. The Lady Lions will vie for their third-straight title this season and sixth overall since joining the conference in 1992-93, while Purdue will look for its second tournament three-peat as the Boilermakers won three consecutive conference tournaments from 1998-2000.

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