Iowa women's basketball lands highest preseason ranking since 1994

Dargan Southard
Des Moines Register

The Iowa women's basketball hype train for this upcoming season has been rolling along for a while. Tuesday, it reached a new level with the Associated Press' preseason top 25 reveal.

The Hawkeyes will begin the season ranked fourth, their second-highest preseason ranking in program history and best since 1994. Pair that with Iowa sitting atop the Big Ten preseason poll — plus Caitlin Clark being named preseason conference player of the year — and it's easy to see why excitement is sky-high in Iowa City.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark shoots a 3-point basket during the Hawkeye Hoops from Downtown event Sept. 30 on Iowa Avenue in Iowa City.

For the fifth time in school history and first time during head coach Lisa Bluder’s tenure, Iowa is an AP preseason top-10 team in back-to-back season. The Hawkeyes began last year ranked ninth before winning a share of the Big Ten regular-season title and the conference tournament title. Just about every key piece from that team has returned.

Five other Big Ten schools joined Iowa in the poll: Indiana at No. 11, Ohio State at No. 14, Maryland at No. 17, Nebraska at No. 22 and Michigan at No. 25.

Iowa has an exhibition game Oct. 28 versus Nebraska-Kearney before starting the regular season Nov. 7 against Southern.

More:Leistikow: Expectations soar for Iowa women's basketball, a top-five preseason team

Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.