Ball State men's basketball is picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division, according the the conference's preseason poll released today.

The poll is selected by the league's 12 head coach and an 18-member MAC News Media Panel.  Ball State finished third in first place votes with eight, behind Buffalo (24) and Western Michigan (22), both were selected to win the east and west division's, respectively.

The Cardinals are coming off a 21-13 (11-7 MAC) season a year ago, sharing the MAC West Division regular season title with Western Michigan and barely missing a shot at the conference championship game.

MAC East Division MBB Preseason Poll (first place votes) 

1. Buffalo (17-14, 11-7 MAC) – 166 points (24)
2. Kent State (20-13, 10-8 MAC) – 139 points (2)
3. Ohio (19-10, 11-7 MAC) – 127 points (3)
4. Akron (24-8, 14-4 MAC) – 84 points (1)
5. Bowling Green (13-19, 7-11 MAC) – 82 points
6. Miami (11-21, 4-14 MAC)– 32 points

MAC West Division MBB Preseason Poll (first place votes)

1. Western Michigan (16-15, 11-7 MAC) – 169 points (22)
2. Ball State (20-11, 11-7 MAC) – 156 points (8)
3. Toledo (17-15, 9-9 MAC) – 107 points
4. Eastern Michigan (16-16, 7-11 MAC) – 103 points
5. Northern Illinois (15-17, 7-11 MAC) – 57 points
6. Central Michigan (16-16, 6-12 MAC) – 38 points

*records are from last season

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Ball State also received five votes to be the MAC Tournament Champion, with Western Michigan leading the way (10) and Buffalo right behind (9).

This year's team returns eight players from last year, including four of the teams starters and seven out of nine of their rotation players.

One of those returning pieces, junior guard Tayler Persons, was also selected to the MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team. Persons finished his first season at Ball State averaging nearly 29 minutes and 15.4 points per game. Last season, Persons finished as an All-MAC Second Team selection.