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Rice is heavy favorite to win
was picked to win the regular season title in Conference USA, as
voted by the league’s head coaches and released by the
The Owls, with sophomore right-hander Austin
Kubitza (right), received eight first place votes to secure the
top spot in the poll. Rice has won either the regular season or
tournament title in each of its first six years as a member of
C-USA. The Owls won both in 2011 and joined Southern Miss, East
Carolina and UCF in the NCAA Tournament.
UCF picked up the remaining first place vote and
placed second in the preseason poll, followed by East Carolina,
Southern Miss, Houston, Tulane, Memphis, UAB and Marshall.
The 2012 campaign begins on Friday, Feb. 17, with
all nine teams in action. Conference play starts on March 23.
The top eight teams will compete in the 2012 C-USA Tournament,
May 24-28 in Pearl, Miss.
2012 Conference USA Preseason
Team (First Place) (2011 C-USA, Overall
1. Rice (8) (16-8, 42-21)
2. UCF (1) (12-12, 39-23)
3. East Carolina (14-10, 41-21)
4. Southern Miss (16-8, 39-19)
5. Houston (12-12, 27-32)
6. Tulane (10-14, 31-26)
7. Memphis (12-12, 30-27)
8. UAB (9-15, 29-28)
9. Marshall (7-17, 20-31)
(photo courtesy of Rice Media