Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Massachusetts media picks UMass as the state's best basketball team on the eve of 2012-13 preseason

Today marks the second annual Commonwealth of Massachusetts Basketball Media as the coaches from the state’s six Division I programs will all be on hand at Boston College’s Conte Forum.

In a state where professional sports certainly dominates the landscape, I think it’s a terrific for the school’s to work together to get a little added promotion for their sport. I hope someday it operates like Philadelphia’s Big 5 where the group affiliation leads to added scheduling and some charity work together.
By scheduling I don’t only mean playing each other, although more of that needs to happen. But the teams could play mutually beneficial doubleheaders (even tripleheaders) at the TD Garden.

The one thing I thought was missing last year was a preseason poll. Media days and preseason polls go together like journalists and buffets (come to think of it, media days are kind of like quote buffets) so I thought I’d create one for this year. It’s not official, but I emailed 11 local media members who cover college hoop and eight responded (I didn’t ask them if I could use their name so I won’t, something to fix for 2013).

Next year I’ll add a preseason All-Massachusetts Team.

So I give you the first (hopefully annual) preseason Massachusetts Basketball Media Poll:

1. UMass (8) - 48 points
2. Harvard - 29
3. Boston College - 28
4. Northeastern - 26
5. Boston University - 25
6. Holy Cross - 12

UMass was the unanimous No. 1 which is as much sign of the optimism around the Minutemen as it is the uncertainty. Interestingly enough other than Holy Cross, the other four teams all got at least one second place vote.

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