MAC Preseason Basketball Poll Released

Cleveland, Ohio -- Mid-American Conference men's basketball, according to the league's preseason poll, has a great degree of parity. Released today at the league's annual Media Day, seven of the 13 teams received votes to win the post season tournament with seven teams recognized as potential divisional winners.

Defending regular season champion Central Michigan was tabbed to capture the West Division while last year's tournament champion Kent State earned the nod in the East Division.
Members of the MAC News Media Association were polled for the results.
In the West, the Chippewas, with 270 points, were listed on 30 of the 49 ballots to defend its crown with 10 voters also noting CMU as the tournament champion. Ball State, with 248 points, is expected to seriously challenge CMU, according to the prognosticators. The Cardinals received 17 first place tallies and eight ballots had them as winning the tournament. Toledo received two first place notices and 210 points to finish third.
Western Michigan, fourth with 126, Northern Illinois, fifth with 103, and Eastern Michigan, sixth with 74, round out the West Division predictions.

Kent State rates as the top team in the East with 313 points, 31 first place votes and 19 tournament championship votes. It's a tight fit for the second through fourth place finish with Marshall, Ohio and Bowling Green packed in a competitive field. The Thundering Herd earned seven first place votes and 261 points, followed by the Bobcats (5, 231) and Falcons (6, 218).
Miami, which has been in the league's title game five years in a row, is slated for a fifth place finish but was tabbed by two voters to win the 2002 tournament. Akron is picked sixth with 107 points and Buffalo seventh with 52.

The culmination of this year's MAC competition will take place at the 2002 First Energy MAC Basketball Tournament to be held March 4 and 7-8-9. First round games are March 4 on campus sites with the final three rounds at Cleveland's Gund Arena March 7-8-9. Kent State defeated Miami, 67-61, in last year's title game for the Golden Flashes' second tournament trophy in the last three years.

MAC Preseason Poll
East Division
School (1st-place votes) Points To Win Tournament
1. Kent State (31) 313 19
2. Marshall (7) 261 3
3. Ohio (5) 231 3
4. Bowling Green (6) 218 4
5. Miami 192 2
6. Akron 107 -
7. Buffalo 52 -

West Division
School (1st-place votes) Points To Win Tournament
1. Central Michigan (30) 270 10
2. Ball State (17) 248 8
3. Toledo (2) 210 -
4. Western Michigan 126 -
5. Northern Illinois 103 -
6. Eastern Michigan 74 -

Votes: East Division points awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis; West Division points awarded on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

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