NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 10/20/2009 - The TranSouth Athletic Conference men's basketball coaches have tipped Union University as the preseason favorite for the upcoming 2009-2010 men's basketball season.
Union, in their first season under new head coach David Niven, were picked on top by five of the league’s coaches. The Bulldogs received three more points than second place Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University. The Lions were picked as the top team on two of the conference coaches' ballots. Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College is picked third and received a number one pick on one of the ballots. The RedHawks picked up 63 total points.
Mid-Continent (Ky.) University is a team that many feel has a chance to thrive this year with a great deal of returning seniors on the roster. The Cougars are picked fourth with 61 points. Cumberland (Tenn.) University (45), Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) University (36), Lyon (Ark.) College (24), Bethel (Tenn.) University (24), and Blue Mountain (Miss.) College (9) round out the rest of the teams in the poll.
Union, Freed, and Cumberland all reached the NAIA National Championships. Union advanced to the Sweet 16. Union is the defending regular season and tournament champion. Cumberland finished second in the regular season and Freed-Hardeman faced Union in the tournament championship game.
Just one new coach breaks into the veteran lineup of coaches in the TranSouth, but even David Niven is a familiar face. Niven has been an assistant at Union for 12 years.
More times than not in this decade the conference regular season title hasn't been decided until the final week of play. Last year was not different and as the coaches' poll indicates most see this year playing out in the same dramatic fashion.
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