2A BOYS REGIONAL PROJECTIONS

Last week in our Class 2A boys’ basketball regional projections, we laid out our thoughts on district champions and runner-up teams and then tried to seed the bracket 1-16.  With RPI standings now officially released and updated on a daily basis, we can now get a better look at how the regional tournaments may line out.
First up, we update our list of district champions.  These teams in our mind will land district tournament titles and earn the right to host.  We also project our thoughts on which other teams in each district will qualify for the regional tournament.
District #1
Del Norte remains our choice to land the district title and they have a big game with Sanford this week.  That winner could end up with the top overall seed and the inside track to the district title.  Del Norte won this matchup in Sanford last year and should be able to grab another win in 2018.  Look for Sanford to end up number two with Sargent third.
The race for the fourth qualifier could come down to South Park and Center.  Those two square off on Saturday and the result could give us an indication of which team could advance.  Our choice right now is the Burros.
District #2
The top overall seed for the district tournament could be determined on Friday as Yuma makes the trek to Sedgwick County.  The Cougars have the much higher RPI and playing at home is considered the favorite.  We’re going to buck the trend and go with Yuma to grab the road victory and take control of the league championship chase.
Sedgwick County has already beaten Holyoke so the Cougars are likely guaranteed a top two league finish regardless of Friday’s outcome.  Look for Holyoke to be the third qualifier with a nice struggle between Haxtun and Akron for the fourth spot.  They play on February 4th and the winner could end up fourth in the conference which would result in a home game in the district quarterfinals.  The Rams have also played better of late in quality narrow losses over Highland (6) and Limon (10) last week so they’re our choice at #4 at this point.
District #3
This district receives just three bids and Ignacio will easily grab one of them.  The Bobcats seem to be a step ahead of all other challengers.  Dolores won a key game at Mancos in overtime earlier this year and that gives the Bears the inside push to the #2 District seed.  They meet again in February with a possible third clash in the district semifinals.  We expect both the Bears and Bluejays to reach the regional round.
District #4
One of the better district tournaments could be here as Limon and Byers have already put together solid seasons.  Each has a quality win over Denver Christian so it appears the Badgers and Bulldogs are headed to a district championship showdown.  We’ll get a preview on February 9th in Limon.
The Badgers are our pick to win the title as they have a win over Evangelical Christian while Byers fell to the Eagles.  Denver Christian and Burlington could end up third and fourth.
District #5
Five teams will advance to the district tournament and it appears that Rangely, Meeker, Vail Christian, Hotchkiss and Paonia could be those clubs.  Rangely is alone in first with a one game lead on the other four.  Every other conference team has at least three losses so the gap between fifth and sixth is two games.
Rangely has beaten Meeker so the Panthers could be the top overall district seed.  Meeker is the choice for second as they’re coming off a win over Vail Christian.  The Saints should end up with Paonia and Hotchkiss fourth and fifth.  The Eagles and Bulldogs have split two regular season games so it’s a tossup at this point.  They’re also virtually tied in RPI.
District #6
Unbeaten on the season and coming off a hard-fought win over Fowler, Crowley County must be considered the favorite for the district championship.  The Chargers play Fowler again on February 9th and could likely wrap up the top seed with another win there.  Fowler though dropped two regular season meetings with the Chargers but avenged those losses in the district tournament so they have that experience to lean on.
Still we go with Crowley at #1 with Fowler #2.  Rocky Ford and Hoehne could advance at numbers three and four.  Hoehne is down the conference standings a bit but the Farmers have beaten Swallows Charter and play them again this week.  A season sweep should land them a top four seed in the district tournament which puts them in good shape to advance.
District #7
Highland appears to be the front runner for the district title.  The Huskies reached the state tournament a year ago and have a couple of key players from that club that will help them in tight games down the stretch.  Dayspring Christian and Clear Creek are our picks for spots two and three.  Clear Creek (10-2) comes in from the Frontier and will benefit from playing in a 3A conference much of the season.
Gilpin County is our choice for the fourth qualifier.  They’ve beaten Dawson and Lyons for a pair of crucial league wins and have two more important games with Union Colony and Highland this week.  Union Colony can take a major step for a top four seed by beating Gilpin County but the Wolves have already lost to Dawson and Lyons.
District #8
This is another very competitive district with Evangelical Christian, Simla, Calhan and Ellicott all sporting quality clubs.  ECA is the pick at #1 with Simla our choice at #2 despite a loss to Calhan last week.  They play again on the 14th for the league matchup which will impact district tournament seeding.  Ellicott, which topped Dolores Huerta last week, goes to Simla on Friday and a win there could get the Scorpions higher up this district bracket.
Top Eight Seeds
We have projected our district champions and using RPI numbers from Monday morning, the top eight seeds in the bracket would look like this

#1 Crowley County

#2 Limon

#3 Highland

#4 Del Norte

#5 Evangelical Christian

#6 Rangely

#7 Yuma

#8 Ignacio

 
Entire Bracket
Again, using our picks for regional qualifiers and coupled with the RPI, here’s a quick glance at potential regional tournament pairings.  Please note that spots 25-32 could be moved for geographical purposes but for this bracket, we left it as a true seed.  Winners of the eight regional tournaments would advance to the state tournament and be reseeded with new RPI numbers following the conclusion of action on March 4th.
 

Region One

#1 Crowley County vs #32 South Park

#16 Dayspring Christian vs #17 Simla

Region Two

#2 Limon vs #31 Burlington

#15 Clear Creek vs #18 Holyoke

Region Three

#3 Highland vs #30 Dolores

#14 Fowler vs #19 Vail Christian

Region Four

#4 Del Norte vs #29 Mancos

#13 Calhan vs #20 Denver Christian

Region Five

#5 Evangelical Christian vs #28 Gilpin County

#12 Meeker vs #21 Rocky Ford

Region Six

#6 Rangely vs #27 Ellicott

#11 Byers vs #22 Sanford

Region Seven

#7 Yuma vs #26 Hotchkiss

#10 Haxtun vs #23 Hoehne

Region Eight

#8 Ignacio vs #25 Paonia

#9 Sedgwick County vs #24 Sargent

 

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