CORVALLIS, Ore. – After grabbing the regular-season Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship and finishing the 2018-19 year as the NAIA runner-up, Oregon Tech was picked to top the conference again in the CCC Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll, released Wednesday.

The Hustlin’ Owls, who finished with a 28-8 overall and 15-3 CCC record, grabbed eight first-place votes and 118 total votes to sit in the top spot of the poll, just seven points in front of No. 2 College of Idaho.

“Being selected as the pre-season favorite is certainly an honor, especially in a conference as tough as the CCC,” said OIT Head Coach Justin Parnell. “However, these things are usually based off of the previous year’s success and we have a long way to go with our team this year to get back to the level we played at last year. Our 2019 NAIA Runner-Up team was extremely unselfish and played with a tremendous amount of confidence. We’re really excited to see this group grow throughout the year and hopefully make a run the will rival what we did last season.”

Last year, the Coyotes won the CCC Tournament Championship by beating Southern Oregon University 70-55 in the finale. C of I is expected to make another run in the conference, picking up two first-place votes and 111 points.

The Raiders sit in third with 88 points, while Corban University grabbed 81 points for fourth. Eastern Oregon University earned one first-place votes and finished with 75 points to round out the predicted top-five in the poll.

Warner Pacific University (64 points), Northwest Christian University (56 points), Northwest University (51 points), Multnomah University (42 points) and The Evergreen State College (27 points) fill in spots six through 10, while Walla Walla University came in 11th with 13 points.

The basketball season tips off later this month, with CCC action beginning on Dec. 3. Following the regular season, the conference postseason tournament is slated to begin on Feb. 26 with the quarterfinals round. It has an eight-team, single-elimination format, featuring the top eight finishers in the regular-season standings and the top-four teams earning hosting duties.

2019-20 CCC Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll

Team (1st-place Votes)                 Points        2018-19 CCC          2018-19 Overall
1. Oregon Tech (8)                             118               15-3                             28-8
2. College of Idaho (2)                        111               14-4                              31-6
3. Southern Oregon University           88                  9-9                               21-11
4. Corban University                             81                11-7                              21-9
5. Eastern Oregon University (1)        75                10-8                              15-15
6. Warner Pacific University                64                 7-11                             16-14
7. Northwest Christian University      56                 11-7                              31-6
8. Northwest University                        51                6-12                             15-17
9. Multnomah University                      42                6-12                             15-15
10. The Evergreen State College        27                 1-17                               5-21
11. Walla Walla University                   13                  0-0                                 0-0

The NAIA men’s basketball preseason poll will be released Oct. 23.

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