NC State women’s basketball opens season ranked in the top 5

·1 min read

N.C. State has hopes of ending this season in Minneapolis at the Final Four.

Poll voters have those types of expectations for the Wolfpack as well. The Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll was released on Tuesday and the N.C. State women’s basketball team was ranked No. 5 in the country.

This is one spot behind the previous high for the program, which started the year ranked No. 4 in 1978-79. This is just the third time in school history the Pack has been ranked in the top 5 in the preseason.

N.C. State finished with a 22-3 record a year ago, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack made it to the Sweet 16 for a third straight season but was knocked out by Indiana, 73-70.

Coming off consecutive ACC tournament titles, head coach Wes Moore returns his top eight scorers from last season. That group includes ACC Tournament MVP Elissa Cunane, ACC Co-Sixth Player of the Year Jada Boyd and the return of super seniors Raina Perez, Kayla Jones and Kai Crutchfield. He also added transfers Diamond Johnson and Madison Hayes. With that kind of firepower, it’ll be a Final Four or bust season for Moore, who has won 190 games at N.C. State.

The Wolfpack hasn’t made it to the Final Four since 1998. Last season, it knocked off two No. 1 teams on the road — at South Carolina and at Louisville.

N.C. State and the No. 1 Gamecocks open the season Nov. 9 in Reynolds Coliseum.

UConn, Stanford and Maryland were ahead of the Wolfpack. N.C. State will take on the Terrapins on Nov. 25 in the Bahamas.

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