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Saint Mary Spires picked as KCAC favorite

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at 7:10 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at 7:11 a.m.

One season removed from the McPherson College men’s basketball team making a historic run to the NAIA Division II Final Four, coaches and media picked Saint Mary as the team to beat this year, putting the Spires first in both the media and coaches’ preseason polls on Tuesday.

McPherson was picked second in both polls. Saint Mary also made it to the NAIA Division II Tournament last season.

The Friends men were picked sixth in both polls.

“We were picked a couple of spots too high, if you go by our last couple of practices,” Friends coach Dale Faber said. “Saint Mary is really the top returning team ... they’ve got a lot of talent back from a team that finished second last year.

“I guess I was surprised that Tabor wasn’t picked a little higher, I think they’re going to be really good.”

Bethany was picked eighth by the coaches and seventh by the media. Bethel was picked ninth in both polls.

McPherson finished last season ranked No. 4 in the country — the highest national ranking in school history.

“I don’t know how you duplicate what McPherson did last year,” Faber said. “But Saint Mary has got everything back plus a couple of high-impact transfers.”

The Southwestern women were picked first in the coaches poll and the media poll. Sterling was picked second in both polls.

Friends, the defending KCAC women’s champion, was picked second in the coaches’ poll and third by the media.

Bethany was picked ninth in both polls, and Bethel was picked last in both polls.

KCAC preseason polls

Men

Coaches

1. Saint Mary

2. McPherson

3. Ottawa

4. Tabor

5. Sterling

6. Friends

7. Southwestern

8. Bethany

9. Bethel

10. Kansas Wesleyan

Media

1. Saint Mary

2. McPherson

3. Ottawa

4. Tabor

5. Sterling

6. Friends

7. Bethany

8. Southwestern

9. Bethel

10. Kansas Wesleyan

Women

Coaches

1. Southwestern

2. Friends

3. Sterling

4. Kansas Wesleyan

5. Ottawa

6. Tabor

7. McPherson

8. Saint Mary

9. Bethany

10. Bethel

Media

1. Southwestern

2. Sterling

3. Friends

4. Ottawa

5. Saint Mary

6. Kansas Wesleyan

7. Tabor

8. McPherson

9. Bethany

10. Bethel.

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