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2016 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Polls: Akron favorite to win conference

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Keith Dambrot and the Zips are media favorites, but it isn’t quite the runaway race many expected.

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Villanova Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016-2017 MAC Men’s Basketball preseason polls, voted on by members of the media, have been released and it looks as if most experts are hopping on board with the Zips.

Akron, led by coach Keith Dambrot, was selected the favorite to win the MAC East and the MAC Tournament in Cleveland by a narrow margin over Ohio in both the division and title race.

Ohio was selected to finish second place in both the MAC East and the MAC Tournament. Interestingly, Ohio had more first place votes to win the East division, but lost the preseason crown to Akron by a total of four votes.

Buffalo, the two-time defending MAC Champion, was selected third in the East this preseason. The Bulls also garnered five first-place divisional votes and two MAC Tournament votes. Kent State, Bowling Green and Miami rounded out the division.

Kent State and Miami (improbably) each gained one MAC tournament vote.

In the West, the race was a little more complicated.

Every team except Western Michigan received at least one first place vote, with Eastern Michigan selected to win the West Division, garnering 16 first-place votes. EMU also garnered three votes to win the MAC tournament.

Ball State, who had a surprising run last season, was selected second in the West division race and garnered 12 first-place votes. NIU was selected third in the division with five first-place divisional votes and garnered two MAC Tournament votes.

Toledo (one-first place divisional vote), Western Michigan, and Central Michigan (two first-place divisional votes, one MAC tournament vote) round out the West division.

The full standings are as follows:

East

  1. Akron (15 first-place votes)— 194 points
  2. Ohio (16)— 190
  3. Buffalo (5)— 144
  4. Kent State— 116
  5. Bowling Green— 63
  6. Miami— 49

West

  1. EMU (16 first-place votes)— 178 points
  2. Ball State (12)— 158
  3. NIU (5)— 148
  4. Toledo (1)— 100
  5. WMU— 95
  6. CMU (2)— 77