Special to the E-T

Tarleton Sports Information

The Tarleton Texan menís basketball team has been ranked No. 19 in the nation in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll.

The Texans, who are coming off their sixth regional appearance in seven seasons and their third regional championship game in four years, will open the season ranked in the official poll that represents coaches throughout the nation.

Findlay enters the 2008-09 season at the top of the preseason poll after finishing 28-5 last season. South Carolina-Aiken, Bentley, Florida Southern, Augusta State, Northern Kentucky, Central Oklahoma, Minnesota state, Winona State and Gannon complete the Top 10 teams in the rankings.

The only other South Central Region teams in the ranking besides Tarleton and UCO is No. 12 Southwest Baptist and No. 16 Northwest Missouri State. UCO won the South Central regional tournament last year, defeating Tarleton in the title game, 77-76. The Bronchos fell in the quarterfinal game of the Elite Eight and finished the season 28-6. Tarleton defeated SBU in the regional semifinal, 80-72, and the Bearcats finished the season 22-8. NWMSU finished 24-8 after reaching the regional last year, too.

Tarleton was ranked No. 15 in the final NABC poll last season while UCO was No. 21, NWMSU was No. 19 and SBU was unranked.

Weekly polls will be released on Tuesday afternoons beginning Nov. 25.

This is the final preseason poll to be released and the only poll in which the Texans are ranked headed into the season