COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Basketball season is approaching in Columbus and the Ohio State women’s team will begin the 2023-24 campaign among the preseason favorites.

Ohio State has been ranked No. 7 in the preseason Associated Press poll that was released on Tuesday. The Buckeyes ended last season at No. 12 and move up five spots from that ranking.

The Scarlet & Grey are fresh of its most successful season since 1992-93 after finishing the regular season with a 28-8 record. As the four-seed in the Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes got all the way to the final before losing to two-seed Iowa 105-72.

Despite the lopsided defeat, OSU earned a three-seed for the NCAA tournament and hosting rights for the first two rounds. After wins over James Madison and North Carolina at the Schottenstein Center, the Buckeyes upset No. 2 seed Connecticut 73-61 to make its first Elite Eight appearance in 30 years. The Buckeyes fell to one-seed Virginia Tech in the regional final.

This season, head coach Kevin McGuff has a majority of his stars returning including graduate year guard Jacy Sheldon, graduate forward Rebeka Mikulasikova, and sophomore Cotie McMahon, who burst on the scene as the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2022-23.

No. 7 Ohio State begins the season in Las Vegas against No. 21 USC in the Naismith Hall of Fame Series on Nov. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Buckeyes first game in Columbus will be on Nov. 12 against IUPUI. OSU’s non-conference opponents include Oklahoma State, No. 11 Tennessee, and No. 4 UCLA.

The defending national champions LSU start the season as the No. 1 team followed by UCONN at No. 2 and the Iowa Hawkeyes, who are led by superstar guard Caitlin Clark. Five Big Ten teams are starting the season ranked: Iowa (3), Ohio State (7), Indiana (9), Maryland (14), and Illinois (23).

AP Poll (Preseason)

1LSU (35)
2Connecticut (1)
6South Carolina
7Ohio State
8Virginia Tech
10Notre Dame
16North Carolina
18Florida State
24Washington State
25Mississippi State