Earlier this week, the MIAA conference tabbed Southwest Baptist and Central Missouri as the top two men’s basketball teams in their preseason polls, now both gain national recognition. Both school appear in the top five of the NABC/Division II Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Southwest Baptist will begin the season at No. 3, while Central Missouri comes in at No. 5.
Southwest Baptist went 26-5 (17-3 in the MIAA) in 2008-09 to win the MIAA regular season championship. The Bearcats advanced to the NCAA regional finals before falling to Central Missouri. Central Missouri was 30-5 a year ago (16-4 in the MIAA), finishing as the league runner-up. The Mules won the MIAA Tournament Championship and made it all the way to the NCAA Division II Final Four before losing a heartbreaker to Findlay, OH.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Oct. 27, 2009 – Preseason Poll)
1. BYU-Hawaii (6 first place votes) 27-2
2. Bellarmine, Ky. (1 first place vote) 26-7
3. Southwest Baptist, Mo. 26-5
4. Findlay, Ohio 36-0
5. Central Missouri 30-5