The Chippewas also garnered 15 votes to win the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament. Ten of the league's top men's basketball players were also selected to the preseason All-MAC teams for the East and West Divisions as announced by the league office.
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Toledo followed Central Michigan in the preseason rankings in second, while Western Michigan was selected to finish third. Eastern Michigan was picked to place fourth, while Northern Illinois and Ball State rounded out the West Division selections. The Chippewas garnered a unanimous 23 first place votes to win the division.
Under the guidance of 12-year head coach Keith Dambrot, the Akron men return four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's squad that posted 21-plus wins for the 10th consecutive season, joining the likes of Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, and Ohio State. Over the last 11 seasons, the Zips have won 252 games, the most by any team in the Mid-American Conference.
The Zips were followed in the East Division preseason predictions by Kent State, while Ohio was selected to finish third and Buffalo fourth. Miami was tabbed to finish fifth and Bowling Green sixth to round out this year's selections. Akron received 17 first place votes when it came to picking who would win the East crown.
PRESEASON ALL-MAC LIST
The West Division preseason All-MAC representatives are Central Michigan teammate's Chris Fowler and John Simons, Eastern Michigan's Raven Lee, Toledo's Nathan Boothe and Western Michigan's Connar Tava.
The East Division All-MAC squad is comprised of Akron's Pat Forsythe, Buffalo's Lamonte Bearden, Kent State's Jimmy Hall, Miami's Eric Washington and Ohio's Antonio Campbell.
The MAC regular season gets underway on Friday, November 13 as six MAC programs take the hardwood. Conference action begins on Tuesday, January 5 as teams will start to fight for position in the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament that will take place on March 9-12 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
2015-16 MAC East Division Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Akron – 132 points (17)
2. Kent State – 116 (5)
3. Ohio — 69
4. Buffalo – 64 (1)
5. Miami — 60
6. Bowling Green — 42
2015-16 MAC West Division Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Central Michigan — 138 points (23)
2. Toledo — 110
3. Western Michigan — 94
4. Eastern Michigan — 71
5. Northern Illinois — 37
6. Ball State — 33
Tournament Champion: Central Michigan (15), Akron (6), Buffalo (1), Kent State (1)
MAC East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Pat Forsythe, Sr., C, Akron
Lamonte Bearden, So., G, Buffalo
Jimmy Hall, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Eric Washington, Sr., G, Miami
Antonio Campbell, Jr., F, Ohio
MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Chris Fowler, Sr., G, Central Michigan
John Simons, Sr., F, Central Michigan
Raven Lee, R-Jr., G, Eastern Michigan
Nathan Boothe, Sr., C, Toledo
Connar Tava, Sr., F, Western Michigan