BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. -- West Liberty, still ranked highly in national polls, has been picked to win the Mountain East Conference in the league's inaugural preseason poll.The Hilltoppers earned 11 first-place votes to one for Fairmont State for 143 points. Accordingly the Falcons were second in the MEC poll with 132.West Liberty has posted three straight 30-win seasons and advanced to the NCAA Division II semifinals last season. The Hilltoppers are ranked second by the Division II Bulletin and sixth by the Sporting News College Basketball Preview. The University of Charleston (89) was voted sixth, a point behind co-No. 4s Concord and Shepherd. West Virginia State (75) was voted seventh among the 12 teams.
Wheeling Jesuit (114) was voted third. The eighth- through 12th-place picks are Glenville State (65), West Virginia Wesleyan (53), Urbana (31), Virginia-Wise (28) and Notre Dame College (26).
MEC WOMEN: The University of Charleston was picked fourth and West Virginia State sixth in the first Mountain East Conference preseason women's pollWest Liberty led the poll by a single point over Glenville State, 133-132. Both received five first-place votes, with No. 3 Fairmont State (125) getting two.After UC (100), Shepherd (88) was fifth. After State (74), the order was Concord (62), West Virginia Wesleyan (61), Urbana (48), Wheeling Jesuit (45), Notre Dame College (44) and Virginia-Wise (24).