When it comes to winning the American Rivers Conference basketball titles, league coaches expect the Wartburg women to celebrate another championship at season's end and the men to finish in third-place.

ARC women's coaches believe, nearly unanimously, that the four-time reigning conference champion Knights are the best team in the league. They picked Wartburg to finish first by a large margin in a preseason survey, the results of which were released this week.

Wartburg collected 64 points and eight of the nine first-place votes. In the poll, Coach Bob Amsberry's team finished 13 points ahead of second-place Loras. The other No. 1 vote went to Coe, which tied Simpson with 48 points for a projected third-place finish.

The Knights have qualified for the NCAA Tournament each of the past five years. They finished the 2019-20 season with 25-4 overall and 14-2 league records. With three starters returning, Wartburg is off to a 2-0 start this season.

2020-21 American Rivers Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

RankSchool (1st-Place Votes)Points2019-20 Record
1WARTBURG (8)64*25-4 Overall, 14-2 ARC
2LORAS5125-4 Overall, 13-3 ARC
T3COE (1)4816-11 Overall, 10-6 ARC
T3SIMPSON4818-8 Overall, 10-6 ARC
5CENTRAL3415-11 Overall, 7-9 ARC
6LUTHER3215-10 Overall, 12-4 ARC
7DUBUQUE237-18 Overall, 3-13 ARC
8NEBRASKA WESLEYAN137-17 Overall, 3-13 ARC
9BUENA VISTA111-24 Overall, 0-16 ARC

*Regular Season/Conference Tournament Champion (NCAA 2nd Round)
*Coaches not permitted to vote for own teams

Wartburg collected 44 points and two first-place votes in the men's preseason poll, but finished 11 points behind league favorite Loras. The Knights have three starters back from a team that ended up in fifth-place in the 2019-20 conference standings with a 7-9 mark, 12-15 overall.

If the coaches' survey is any indication, the battle for the ARC men's basketball title will be a competitive one. Only one point separated Loras and Nebraska Wesleyan, which was picked to finish second in the league standings. Five teams earned first-place votes.

2020-21 American Rivers Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

RankSchool (1st-Place Votes)Points2019-20 Records
1LORAS (3)5517-9 Overall, 10-6 ARC
2NEBRASKA WESLEYAN (2)54*25-4 Overall, 15-1 ARC
3WARTBURG (2)4412-15 Overall, 7-9 ARC
4DUBUQUE (1)4214-11 Overall, 7-9 ARC
T5BUENA VISTA (1)3718-8 Overall, 9-7 ARC
T5COE3717-10 Overall, 11-5 ARC
T7CENTRAL195-20 Overall, 2-14 ARC
T7LUTHER198-17 Overall, 4-12 ARC
9SIMPSON1714-13 Overall, 7-9 ARC

*Regular Season/Conference Tournament Champion (NCAA 2nd Round
*Coaches not permitted to vote for own teams

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