By Tracy Schultz
April 10, 2009

Connecticut started the season at the top of our rankings, and that's where they'll end. There's no reason the Huskies can't do it again in 2009-10. Here's a very early look at next season's rankings.

NCAA Women's Basketball Power Rankings
1 Connecticut Huskies
Last Week: 1
If the championship game was a preview of what we can expect from Tina Charles next season, look out. Match her inspired play with Maya Moore, the best player in the game, and you can see why Geno Auriemma is still smiling.
2 Stanford Cardinal
Last Week: 2
The Cardinal return Jayne Appel to anchor the nation's best frontcourt. In the backcourt, Stanford will benefit from the depth developed when point guard J.J. Hones was sidelined by a torn left ACL early in the season.
3 North Carolina Tar Heels
Last Week: 13
Leading scorer Rashanda McCants is gone to the WNBA, but the Tar Heels bring back top rebounder Jessica Breland and point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid. Chay Shegog, a 6-foot-5 freshman, provided a nice spark off the bench and should see her role increase.
4 Tennessee Lady Vols
Last Week: NR
After their earliest NCAA tournament exit ever, the Lady Vols were back on the court during Spring Break. The bright side in those workouts was WBCA freshman of the year Shekinna Stricklen, who should lead the rebuilding charge. Now, we'll see if Pat Summitt's youngsters have the work ethic to reach their potential.
5 Baylor Bears
Last Week: 9
Baylor Bears (29-6)
Though the Bears lose Rachel Allison, Jessica Morrow and Jhasmin Player, they are bringing back several key contributors. Add 6-8 Brittney Griner, the WBCA High School Player of the Year, and Kim Mulkey's squad has the makings of a contender.
6 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Last Week: 9
Epiphanny Prince, the Knights' leading scorer, has proven she can carry the load, but Brittany Ray and Khadijah Rushdan should offer some help in the backcourt. The best part of the freshman class that struggled is that they will be sophomores next season.
7 Ohio State Buckeyes
Last Week: 12
Freshman guard Samantha Prahalis made her presence felt on both ends of the floor, but the Buckeyes' biggest impact player continues to be sophomore center Jantel Lavender, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year for the second time.
8 Michigan State Spartans
Last Week: NR
The team that upset top-seeded Duke in the NCAA tournament brings back all but one player. Included among the returnees is 6-9 center Alyssa DeHaan, who moved to the top of the Big Ten's career blocks list this season. No longer the underdogs, all opponents will be ready for the Spartans next season.
9 Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 4
Courtney Paris made post play the strength of the Sooners the past four years, but OU should become more perimeter oriented in her absence. Watch for guard Whitney Hand, a freshman who can score from inside and out, to become a star.
10 Xavier Musketeers
Last Week:
Despite the Musketeers' inability to get out of the first round, the emergence of 6-6 Ta'Shia Phillips, who averaged a team-high 13.9 points and 12.1 rebounds, gives fans hope for next year when two-time all-conference pick Amber Harris returns from a left knee injury.

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