CLEVELAND – The Akron Zips men's basketball team has been tabbed as the favorites in the Mid-American Conference East Division and the MAC Tournament in the 2013-14 MAC Basketball Preseason poll, the league office announced on Tuesday.
The 25-member MAC News Media Panel selected the Zips to finish first in the MAC East as Akron received 18 first-place votes and 143 overall points. Buffalo was second (six first-place votes, 120 points) while Ohio was third (94 votes). The rest of the MAC East saw Kent State (one first-place vote, 91 points) picked fourth followed by Bowling Green (53 votes) and Miami (Ohio) (31 votes).
Toledo received 24-of-25 first place votes as the favorite in the MAC West, with the final first-place vote going to Eastern Michigan. Western Michigan was tabbed second (108 votes), with EMU third (one first-place vote, 101 votes). Ball State (89 votes), Central Michigan (50 votes) and Northern Illinois (28 votes) rounded out the West Division.
The Zips earned 14 votes to win the MAC Tournament next March at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Toledo (7) and Buffalo (1) earned the remaining votes.
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell and Quincy Diggs were selected to the East Division Preseason All-MAC Team. The honor is one of many for Treadwell as he was named a Lou Henson Preseason Mid-Major All-American earlier this month, as well as preseason All-MAC by Lindy's Sports, Athlon Sports, Sporting News and USA TODAY Sports.
The Zips enter the 2013-14 campaign as the defending MAC regular season and tournament champions, and will look to represent the MAC in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six seasons.
Akron returns two starters and 10 letterwinners, and will open the season as one of just six Division I programs to post at least 22 wins in each the past eight seasons. The other five schools are Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
Over the last nine seasons, the Zips have posted 210 victories, the most in the Mid-American Conference and tied for the 27th-most nationally during that period (Marquette and Xavier).
The Zips open the 2013-14 season on Friday, Nov. 1, with an exhibition contest against Bluffton. Akron opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 8, when it plays host to Coastal Carolina.
2013-14 East Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Akron – 143 Votes (18 first place votes)
2. Buffalo – 120 Votes (6 first place votes)
3. Ohio – 94 Votes
4. Kent State – 91 Votes (1 first place vote)
5. Miami – 42 Votes
6. Bowling Green – 35 Votes
2013-14 East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell, Akron
Will Felder, Miami
Will Regan, Buffalo
Quincy Diggs, Akron
2013-14 West Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Toledo – 149 Votes (24 first place votes)
2. Western Michigan – 108 Votes
3. Eastern Michigan – 101 Votes (1 first place vote)
4. Ball State – 89 Votes
5. Central Michigan – 50 Votes
6. Northern Illinois – 28 Votes
2013-14 West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Rian Pearson, Toledo
Julius Brown, Toledo
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Majok Majok, Ball State
Glenn Bryant, Eastern Michigan
MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Winner: Akron (14); Toledo (7); Buffalo (1)