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FIU and Troy tie for top spot
in Sun Belt preseason poll
FIU and Troy finished deadlocked in the 2012 Sun
Belt Conference Preseason Poll, in voting by the league’s head
coaches and released by the conference office.
Both the Panthers and Trojans received four
first-place votes and 93 points to grab a share of first.
Louisiana-Lafayette earned one first-place vote and 74 points to
take third, followed by Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky,
South Alabama, Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, ULM (one
first-place vote) and UALR.
FIU was second in the standings a year ago and
returns five position starters. The Panthers earned a bid to the
NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.
Troy won the regular season crown and reached the
NCAA tourney for the third time in the past six years. The
Trojans were 30-5 at home at Riddle-Pace Field.
The season kicks off on Friday, Feb. 17, with all
10 teams in action. Conference play begins the weekend of March
16-18 with five league series. The top eight teams will advance
to the 2012 Sun Belt Championship from May 23-27 at the Bowling
Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Ky.
2012 Sun Belt Preseason Coaches
Team, Points (First Place) (2011 SBC, Overall
t1. FIU, 93 (4) (20-9-1, 40-20-1)
t1. Troy, 93 (4) (21-9, 43-19)
3. Louisiana-Lafayette, 74 (1) (18-12, 31-27)
t4. Florida Atlantic, 60 (17-13, 32-25)
t4. Western Kentucky, 60 (17-13, 33-24)
6. South Alabama, 56 (15-15, 30-28)
7. Arkansas State, 36 (13-16-1, 27-31-1)
8. Middle Tennessee, 31 (9-21, 18-37)
9. Louisiana-Monroe, 26 (1) (9-21, 24-30)
10. UALR, 21 (10-20, 24-34)