During the fall season Colorado Preps produced our own rankings in football but in many ways, it caused some confusion for our readers as it was simply another poll among the many also offered from CHSAANOW, MaxPreps, Denver Post and many other media outlets.  Then there was the RPI which determined football pairings at the end of the regular season.  For the basketball season, we’re taking a different route as we focus completely on the post-season.  Colorado Preps will not rank teams statewide but simply look at the post-season and try to project where the teams will end up.
In Class 1A, there are three regions that will qualify teams to the state tournament and our focus with rankings will be there.  Each week, we’ll provide pairings for Region 1 as it’s a simple cross bracket between two districts and then in Regions 2 and 3 we’ll rank the top three teams in each district and then rank them 1-9 in the regional bracket.
With all those factors in mind, here’s our first look at potential regional brackets across the 1A boys’ basketball landscape.  In laying out brackets in Regions 2 and 3, please keep in mind that seeding committees will use RPI and try to prevent district matchups in the opening round.


Combination of District 1 and District 8 with the top two teams from each meeting in the regional round.  The district champion from each plays the second place team from the other and both winners head to the state tournament.
Right now, we have DeBeque and Front Range Baptist getting the bids from this region. And we would also select North Park and Rocky Mountain Lutheran as the runner-up teams.  North Park will get pushed by Ouray in the District 1 bracket but right now we have the Wildcats with the slight advantage as they have two wins over larger schools (Gilpin County & Skyview Academy) compared to just one for Ouray (Caprock Academy).
In District 8, we give the slight edge to Rocky Mountain Lutheran over Shining Mountain at this point based on head-to-head against Heritage Christian.  Rocky Mountain Lutheran has a win over the Eagles while Shining Mountain came up short
Projected Regional Pairings
#1 DeBeque vs #2 Rocky Mountain Lutheran
#1 Front Range Baptist vs #2 North Park


The bracket is made up from the top three finishers in Districts 4, 5 and 7.  At this stage of the season, there’s a good chance that all three teams could come from District 4 as it seems to be the strongest contingent of the three.
In District 4, Peetz is unbeaten (8-0) and right now the likely pick for number one overall regional seed but the Bulldogs will get pushed by the likes of Heritage Christian and Longmont Christian from the Mile High, Caliche from the Lower Platte and Fleming in conference play in the North Central.  Heritage Christian, Longmont Christian, Caliche have a slight advantage in RPI as they play in predominate Class 2A leagues so the strength of schedule will be on their side.
Our order in District 4 has Peetz #1, Heritage Christian #2 and Longmont Christian #3.  Caliche is in the fourth spot with Fleming at number five.  Peetz as mentioned, is unbeaten so that puts them at number one and then head-to-head and overall record determines the next four spots.  Heritage Christian (5-1) beat Longmont Christian (6-1) in December and Caliche (5-3) also topped Fleming (3-4) last month as well.
In District 5, Otis (3-4) is our top pick over Arickaree/Woodlin (6-3).  The edge comes from a common opponent in Prairie as Otis beat the Mustangs and Arickaree/Woodlin lost.  Stratton/Liberty (2-4) has a slight edge on Flagler/Hi Plains (2-6) in our mind based on a win over Eads.  That’s the best win of the four combined victories of the two programs.
The best records in District 7 belong to Genoa Hugo (4-4), Pikes Peak Christian (3-3) and Elbert (2-6).  None of the three have squared off to this point so we’ll put them in order by overall record.
Projected Regional Pairings
#4 Otis vs #9 Elbert — winner to face #3 Longmont Christian
#5 Arickaree/Woodlin vs #8 Pikes Peak Christian — winner to face #2 Heritage Christian
#6 Genoa Hugo vs #7 Stratton/Liberty — winner to face #1 Peetz


District 2, 3 and 6 all advance three teams to the regional tournament and this is where most of the shuffling through the season will take place.  In each district, there are easily up to five teams battling for the three available slots and since they all square off throughout the season, teams will be moving up and down throughout.
In District 2, Cheyenne Wells is our choice as the top seed there.  The Tigers and Kit Carson are both 6-1 and both have played strong schedules.  Based on the roster, we go with Cheyenne Wells as they have more experience returning from last year compared to Kit Carson.  Both clubs reached the Final Four and both ended their seasons with losses to eventual champion Holly.
The race for number three will be a good battle all year between Cheraw, Eads and McClave.  Stair step results put Cheraw at #3 right now.  The Wolvers (5-3) beat Eads (3-5) and the Eagles knocked off McClave (3-5).  Cheraw and Eads both play Cheyenne Wells over the next two weeks so each has a chance to move up our rankings.
In District 3, there’s a huge game on Friday between Holly (8-0) and South Baca (4-2).  It will impact the league race, district pairings and of course RPI.  Holly has the slight edge right now as the defending champs have yet to lose a game while South Baca has split two games with Cheyenne Wells.  Walsh (3-4) and Kim/Branson (4-5) are neck-and-neck for the third available spot.  Both teams have wins over Springfield and Wiley but we’ll choose Walsh as the third team as their win over Eads is a bit better than the Mustangs wins over La Veta and Antonito.
District 5 could feature the best race of the season as Creede (8-0), Sangre De Cristo (6-1), Primero (5-1) and Cotopaxi (5-1) have a combined record of 24-3.  And we can’t count out Sierra Grande (4-3) and their tough schedule plus we’re hearing good things about an improved Manzanola program (5-4).
Creede has already beaten Sierra Grande, Sangre De Cristo and Cotopaxi so they’re the easy choice at #1 right now.  The Miners tangle with Primero in a very important game on Saturday and then face Cotopaxi and Sangre De Cristo before the end of the month.  Cotopaxi and Sangre De Cristo have not lost other than against Creede and Primero’s only setback is against La Junta which remains in the 3A top 10.  Sierra Grande has dropped games to 2A Sargent and Del Norte.
Projected Regional Pairings
#4 Cheyenne Wells vs #9 Walsh — winner to face #3 South Baca
#5 Sangre De Cristo vs #8 Cheraw — winner to face #2 Creede
#6 Kit Carson vs #7 Primero — winner to face ##1 Holly