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Published: Thursday, 10/28/2010

BGSU, UT men's basketball picked to finish near bottom of MAC divisions

BGSU men's basketball coach Louis Orr contests a referee's call in a February game in this file photo. BGSU men's basketball coach Louis Orr contests a referee's call in a February game in this file photo.

The Toledo and Bowling Green men's basketball teams were picked to finish near the bottom of their respective divisions in the Mid-American Conference's pre-season poll, which was released by the conference Thursday.

The Rockets of coach Tod Kowalczyk were picked to finish sixth in the MAC's six-team West Division, while coach Louis Orr's Falcon squad was chosen fifth of six team's in the East Division in the preseason media poll.

Ohio was the choice to win the East Division with 12 first-place votes (out of 28) and 128 points, 14 more than second-place Kent State, which got eight first-place votes. Akron was picked third with four first-place votes and 104 points, followed by Miami with 84, Bowling Green with 42 and Buffalo with 32.

The West Division vote was even closer, with Ball State the narrow choice over Central Michigan. The Cardinals got 12 first-place votes and 124 points, which the Chippewas second with eight first-place votes and 122. The rest of the division saw Eastern Michigan voted third with a pair of first-place votes and 88; Western Michigan fourth with 68; Northern Illinois fifth with 64 (and two first-place votes) and Toledo sixth with 38.

The pick to win the league tournament also was split, with Ohio getting 10 votes, Kent State with six, Central Michigan four, and both Ball State and Akron with two each.

BG's Scott Thomas was named to the pre-season All-MAC East Division team along with Brett McKnight of Akron, Justin Greene of Kent State, Julian Mavunga of Miami and D.J. Cooper of Ohio.

The pre-season All-MAC West Division team includes Jarrod Jones of Ball State, Trey Zeigler of Ball State, Brandon Bowrey of Eastern Michigan, Xavier Silas of Northern Illinois and Flendard Whitfield of Western Michigan.

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