Arkansas Tech University swept the men’s and women’s basketball titles in its final year in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference back in 1994-95.
If Gulf South Conference coaches are correct, the Wonder Boys and the Golden Suns will repeat that feat in their final run through the GSC West Division this winter.
The Wonder Boys received five of eight first-place votes and a total of 47 points in the voting to emerge as the preseason favorite to win the 2011 GSC West men’s title.
The Golden Suns earned the same totals — five first-place votes and 47 points — on their way to being named the preseason pick to capture the GSC West women’s championship.
This will be the final season in the GSC for Arkansas Tech and five other institutions from Arkansas — Arkansas-Monticello, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas.
Those six schools will join East Central University (Okla.), Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southwestern Oklahoma State in a new NCAA Division II conference during the 2011-12 academic year.
In order to go out on top in GSC West basketball, it appears that Arkansas Tech will have to fend off Delta State. The Statesmen and Lady Statesmen are the second choices in the preseason GSC West Division polls.
On the men’s side, Arkansas Tech (1st, 47 points) and Delta State (2nd, 38 points) are joined by Christian Brothers (3rd, 36 points) and Harding (4th, 34 points) as the preseason picks to represent the Gulf South West Division in the GSC Tournament.
Southern Arkansas (5th, 24 points), Ouachita Baptist (6th, 19 points), Arkansas-Monticello (7th, 17 points) and Henderson State (8th, 9 points) rounded out the men’s preseason GSC West poll.
In the women’s poll, Arkansas Tech (1st, 47 points) and Delta State (2nd, 45 points) were well in front of the pack.
GSC coaches believe that Ouachita Baptist (3rd, 31 points), Harding (4th, 29 points), Henderson State (5th, 25 points) and Arkansas-Monticello (6th, 23 points) will battle for the final two spots in the women’s conference tournament.
Christian Brothers (7th, 12 points) and Southern Arkansas (8th, 8 points) completed the women’s preseason poll.
The top four men’s and women’s teams from both the GSC West Division and the GSC East Division will meet in Southaven, Miss., for the GSC Tournament March 3-6.
Arkansas Tech joined Delta State as the only institution to win both GSC Tournament basketball titles in the same season when the Wonder Boys and the Golden Suns brought the trophies home last March.
The Suns will begin their 2010-11 season on Sunday, Nov. 14, with a 2 p.m. home game against St. Gregory’s University.
The Wonder Boys will open their 2010-11 campaign on Monday, Nov. 15, with a 7 p.m. home contest against Ozark Christian.