The Appalachian Athletic Conference has released the preseason men's basketball poll with the Bryan Lions picked to finish in fifth place out of the nine teams that are now in the conference.
The Lions finished last season in fourth place in the AAC with a conference record of 8-8 and an overall record of 13-18.
Tennessee Wesleyan is the favorite to win the 2012-13 Appalachian Athletic Conference men's basketball championship..
The Bulldogs won both the conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2011-12 as they went 24-10 overall and 14-2 in the AAC. Tennessee Wesleyan ended the season just outside the NAIA Top 25 rankings, but it did advance to the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament.
In the poll, Tennessee Wesleyan collected eight of the possible nine first-place votes for a total of 80 points. Reinhardt received the remaining first-place vote as it came in second with 61 points. Reinhardt went 18-12 overall and 11-5 in the AAC last season and advanced to the conference tournament title game for the second year in a row.
Making up the rest of the top five are Milligan (11-19 overall, 6-10 AAC) with 55 points, Virginia Intermont (16-15 overall, 7-9 AAC) with 53 points and Bryan (13-18 overall, 8-8 AAC).
Rounding the field are Montreat (12-17 overall, 7-9 AAC) with 34 points, Union (8-23 overall, 5-11 AAC) with 32 points, AAC newcomer St. Andrews (7-21 overall) with 27 points, and Point (8-22 overall, 4-12 AAC) with 12 points.
The 2013 AAC Tournament will be held Feb. 20-23 at the Meadowview Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn.