The Southwest Minnesota State University men's basketball team was picked to finish second overall in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the 16 head coaches in the league, SMSU said in a news release Thursday.
Winona State was chosen as the preseason favorite earning 219 points, including 10 first-place votes, while SMSU received 209 points and four first-place votes. WSU was also chosen to win the newly-created NSIC South Division, while SMSU was picked to finish second. MSU Moorhead was picked to win the NSIC North Division.
Augustana received 155 points and one first-place vote. The Mustangs finished the 2011-12 season with a 19-11 overall record and tied for second in the NSIC standings with a record of 15-7. SMSU won the program's first-ever NSIC Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in history.
SMSU senior guard Jordan Miller was named one of the "Players to Watch" in the conference.
The NSIC regular season champion will be based on a 22-game NSIC schedule. Each team will play teams in their division twice and teams in the other division once. Divisional standings will also be based on all 22 NSIC contests played. In the case of a tie, co-champions will be awarded.
The 16-team NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament will be play on Feb. 27 and March 2 at the higher seed. The semifinals and championship will be March 8-9 at Taylor Arena in Rochester.