Toledo picked to win MAC West basktball title


The University of Toledo men's basketball team is the pre-season pick to win the Mid-American Conference's West Division title, while Bowling Green State University was pegged for fifth place in the East Division in a vote taken of 24 league media.

The Rockets finished with 20 first-place votes and 143 points total to edge Eastern Michigan, which got the other four first-place votes and 118 points in all. The rest of the division saw Western Michigan tabbed third (88 points), followed by Ball State (74), Northern Illinois (46) and Central Michigan (35).

The Falcons received 53 votes, 15 behind fourth-place Buffalo and 22 more than Miami in sixth. Ohio was the pick to win the division with 19 first-place votes and 141 points total, followed by Akron (five firsts and 122 points) and Kent State (89).

Ohio was the choice to win the league's post-season tournament, receiving 18 votes while Akron received the other six.

Toledo's Rian Pearson and Julius "Juice" Brown were named to the pre-season All-MAC team in the West Division along with Jesse Berry of Ball State, Abdel Nader of Northern Illinois and Nate Hutcheson of Western Michigan.

A'uston Calhoun of BG was a pre-season pick to the All-MAC team, where he was joined by D.J. Cooper and Walter Offutt of Ohio, Javon McCrea of Buffalo and Zeke Marshall of Akron.