LOUISVILLE - Shawnee State University is a clear-cut favorite to win the Mid-South Conference women’s basketball regular season crown in 2012-13, according to the MSC Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Sunday by the conference.
The Bears received 96 voting points from the MSC head coaches, including eight of the 11 first-place vote. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
Shawnee State shared the MSC regular season title last season with a 14-2 conference mark. The Bears ended 2011-12 with a 28-6 record and an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament’s second round.
Georgetown College is projected to finish second in the poll with 84 voting points and two first-place votes. The Tigers - who ended last season at 24-10 - made the deepest run of any MSC team in last season’s national tournament with an appearance in the national semifinals.
Campbellsville University is third in the conference’s preseason poll with 80 voting points in the poll and the final first-place vote. The Tigers finished with a 20-13 record last season en route to the making an appearance in the national tournament.
University of the Cumberlands and Lindsey Wilson are predicted to tie for fourth as each team received 74 voting points in the poll.
Cumberlands shared last season’s regular season title with Shawnee State and won the MSC Tournament while Lindsey Wilson finished 2011-12 with a 20-13 overall record. Both teams reached the national tournament last season.
MSC newcomer Cumberland University is sixth in the balloting with 52 voting points following by St. Catharine College in seventh with 51 voting points.
The remaining teams in the preseason poll include: University of Rio Grande (29 voting points), University of Pikeville (27), UVa.-Wise (21) and Bluefield College (18).
Last season, the Mid-South Conference sent five teams to the national tournament and consistently placed five teams in the national poll. Cumberland and Bluefield joins the MSC for the 2012-13 season after moving to the conference over the summer.
The Mid-South Conference regular season tips-off in mid-November with the MSC Tournament set for Feb. 28 through March 3 in Frankfort.