BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – A pair of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) teams will open the 2017-18 women's basketball season nationally ranked, as both St. Thomas and Gustavus Adolphus are listed among the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D3hoops.com Preseason Top 25 polls.
Coming off the sixth NCAA Final Four appearance in program history, the Tommies open the year at No. 3 in the WBCA Poll and No. 4 in the D3hoops.com Top 25. St. Thomas returns eight of its top 11 players from last year's roster and has won 34 consecutive games against MIAC opponents, along with 47 of its last 49 contests overall.
Gustavus enters the year ranked 18th in the WBCA Poll and No. 16 by D3hoops.com. The Gusties return a pair of All-MIAC selections from last year's squad, including honorable mention All-American Mikayla Miller, who became the program's all-time steals leader as a junior last February.
Unranked but receiving votes in both preseason polls are the Bethel Royals. BU has reached the MIAC Playoffs each of the last four seasons and returns more than 80 percent of the team's scoring efforts from a year ago.