BOYS BASKETBALL: Seeding Thoughts (3A, 2A, 1A)
District tournaments have concluded for the week and now it’s onto the 32-team state tournament bracket in Class 3A, the 32-team regional round in Class 2A and the 22-team regional format in Class 1A. The seeds and pairings are set to be released tomorrow afternoon by CHSAA but we always want to take a look ahead and start discussion on what might take place in those seeding committees.
The Class 3A format calls
for the six district winners to be placed in the top eight and to play at home
in the first two rounds of the state tournament. Those six district winners are Colorado
Springs Christian, Denver Science, Kent Denver, Roaring Fork, Alamosa and
Brush. The format also calls for two
wildcard teams to be selected to host and those choices should come from a
group involving Holy Family, Pinnacle, Sterling, Pagosa Springs and Moffat
County. Since the Metro is considered
the deepest league in Class 3A and a conference that has won five consecutive
state titles, we believe Holy Family will get the nod as one of the two wildcards. Even though Pinnacle played well against a
strong non-league schedule, they’re likely out of the discussion because they
failed to win a non-conference game all season.
Moffat County is a newbie on the 3A docket this year and their schedule
and conference strength this year may hurt them a bit so we believe they will
be eliminated from the wildcard decision.
That leaves Sterling and Pagosa Springs as the two teams to consider and
it’s not an easy choice. Both won their regular
season conference crown before losing to the second place team in the district
finals. Is the Patriot league considered
stronger than the IML this year? If that’s
the case then Sterling will get the edge plus the Tigers played seven schools
from either 4A or 5A during the season so we believe they will get the selection
head of the Pirates. That leaves Pagosa
Springs, Pinnacle and Moffat County to be seeded ninth through 12th
in the bracket. Rounding out the top 16 in
the field will be the likes of Peak to Peak, Aspen, Centauri and University. Manitou Springs and La Junta could also draw
some consideration along with Colorado Academy.
As a fifth place finisher in districts, five time defending state
champion will be a team that no high
seed wants in their bracket.
In Class 2A, district winners will “host” neutral site regional events next week and draw the top eight seeds. There were numerous upsets this week that will cause many ripples in the bracketing. The district winners are Sanford, Akron, Ignacio, Denver Christian, Hayden, Swink, Heritage Christian and Peyton. Using regular season results, strength of schedules, play down the stretch and tradition (not a criteria), we will go in the following with Peyton #1, Sanford #2, Denver Christian #3, Hayden #4, Akron #5, Ignacio #6, Heritage Christian #7 and Swink #8. Spots nine through 24 in the bracket are supposed to be true seeded so look for Limon to be seeded 9th, Lutheran 10th, Haxtun 11th, Yuma 12th, Resurrection Christian 13th, Rocky Ford 14th, Meeker 15th and Sierra Grande 16th. MaxPreps power points may also be used to help determine seeding but we admit we did not look at those standings in our consideration of seeds. They will of course need to be updated with results from today before being used by the committee on Sunday.
For Class 1A, two regional
pairings are set with the cross bracketing of Districts one and seven. Vail Christian will meet Deer Trail and
Elbert will face Norwood next week with the two winners reaching the state
quarterfinals. We believe those games
will be held in Glenwood Springs. The
top three teams from Districts 2, 3 and 6 will converge for a nine team
tournament and those participants are Wiley, Holly and Walsh (District 2),
Granada, Cheyenne Wells and McClave (District 3) and La Veta, Cotopaxi and
Primero (District 6). Granada is the
team that threw this bracket into a mess.
Cheyenne Wells and McClave were both shoo-ins to nab top three seeds and
earn first round byes but both lost to the Bobcats during district tournament
play. Despite those two setbacks, we
still believe Cheyenne Wells and McClave will be seeded first and second in the
bracket since the Tigers won the regular season battle. Granada is the district champion but their
full body of work for the season does not stack up against those two
teams. La Veta is a good bet to nab the third
“bye” but could be pushed by Wiley. La
Veta has a much better record overall but we think Wiley has played a stronger
schedule. Still the overall record tilts
heavily in favor of the Redskins so they will be our pick for the third
seed. Holly could get some discussion
for a first round bye but they lost three times to Wiley so the Panthers should
have the advantage there. Wiley also
split with Granada and since they won the most recent matchup, we’ll stick with
the Panthers as the four seed and Granada as the fifth seed with Holly
sixth. That leaves Walsh, Cotopaxi and Primero
in spots seven through nine (in that order).
Shining Mountain picked up a district championship by beating Denver Jewish Day tonight (53-39) to avenge their only loss to a 1A opponent this season. We believe that locked up a number one overall regional seed for the Lions as well who will likely win the battle with Fleming in the race for the top two seeds. There will likely be a strong and long discussion between Caliche, Hi Plains and Denver Jewish Day for the coveted third first round bye. Tradition will not be a factor in the seeding criteria but it’s difficult to look past four consecutive state championships and a strong finish for the Buffs as they should land the third seed. Hi Plains will likely land the fourth seed ahead of a Denver Jewish program with little post-season experience. That leaves Pawnee as the sixth seed with Otis and Bethune a toss-up for seventh and eight leaving the ninth spot to Jim Elliot.
Again these are the predictions we put forth on a quick review of the teams involved and we ask for your thoughts on each of the brackets. Official pairings will be released tomorrow afternoon for all three classes and we’ll post the info as quickly as possible.