CLEVELAND, Ohio (Oct. 20) -- Kent and Toledo have been tabbed to win their respective divisions of the women's basketball season in the Mid-American Conference, announced by the league office at the Women's Basketball Media Day at the Renaissance Hotel. Voting for the team was conducted by members of the MAC News Media Association.
Since the MAC switched to divisional play for the 1997-98 season, both Kent and Toledo have been picked to finish first in the East and West Divisions, respectively, each year. Kent was also the overwhelming pick to win the league's postseason tournament, which will take place at Public Hall in Cleveland, March 2-4. The Golden Flashes captured 26 votes to win the tournament, with Toledo (4), Western Michigan (3) and Eastern Michigan (1) also picked to be the MAC's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
The conference's runner-up last year to Toledo, Kent was a near unanimous selection in the East Division. The Golden Flashes received 33 first-place votes and 237 total points, with Akron garnering the other top vote and 190 points. Miami was slated for third with 148 points, edging Bowling Green (128) and Buffalo (117) for fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the poll in the East Division are Ohio (84), which has a first-year coach, and Marshall (48).
In the West Division, last year's champion Toledo edged Western Michigan. The Rockets picked up 21 of 34 first-place votes and 191 total points, while the Broncos received 12 first-place votes and 167 points. Tabbed for a third-place showing is Eastern Michigan, which received the remaining first-place vote and 126 points. Seven points separate Northern Illinois (89 points) and Central Michigan (82) for fourth and fifth, while Ball State (67), which is also has a first-year head coach, is picked sixth.
Kent and Toledo are not surprise selections for the league's top divisional picks, as the schools have met one another in the championship game in each of the last four years. In addition, the Rockets have advanced to the title game eight times in the 1990s, while the Golden Flashes have appeared six times this decade.
1999 MAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Kent (33) 237
2. Akron (1) 190
3. Miami 148
4. Bowling Green 128
5. Buffalo 117
6. Ohio 84
7. Marshall 48
1. Toledo (21) 191
2. Western Michigan (12) 167
3. Eastern Michigan (1) 126
4. Northern Illinois 89
5. Central Michigan 82
6. Ball State 67
Western Michigan 3
Eastern Michigan 1
Note: First-place votes in parentheses
East votes on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points basis, while
West votes on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis