The Class 3A post-season format includes each district qualifying their top two teams with the remaining berths in the 32-team state bracket filled by RPI standings. We use the data from February 4th for determining the qualifiers and laying out the regional tournament field.
Our first chore is determining the top two finishers in each district tournaments. Those are listed below and we also list the additional qualifiers in each league based on RPI.
- Frontier (3)
- Automatic Qualifiers: DSST-Stapleton #1, Academy #2
- Other qualifiers: Middle Park
- Patriot (6)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Sterling #1, Resurrection Christian #2
- Other qualifiers: Eaton, Platte Valley, University, Frontier Academy
- Metro (6)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Manual #1, Faith Christian #2
- Other qualifiers: Kent Denver, Lutheran, Colorado Academy, Jefferson Academy
- Tri Peaks (5)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Vanguard #1, Colorado Springs Christian #2
- Other qualifiers: Lamar, St Mary’s, La Junta
- Intermountain (5)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Centauri #1, Bayfield #2
- Other qualifiers: Montezuma Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa
- Western Slope (5)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Delta #1, Gunnison #2
- Other qualifiers: Coal Ridge, Grand Valley, Roaring Fork
- Confluence (2)
- Automatic Qualifiers: DSST-Byers #1, Fort Lupton #2
- Other qualifiers:
District champions must finish in the top 16 of RPI to earn the right to host a regional tournament. The next highest ranked teams in the RPI will fill out the top eight spots. With RPI standings from February 4th, district champions in our predictions NOT in the top 16 include DSST-Stapleton and DSST-Byers.
With that in mind, the top eight seeds and regional hosts are in this order based on RPI.
- Kent Denver
- Faith Christian
While RPI will be the dominant item in seeding, the committee this year also has the ability to move teams around based on head-to-head results, previous district matchups and common opponents.
We will move teams around a bit based on overall record and conference finish. Sterling remains number one based on an unbeaten overall record and Manual stays put at number two as they appear to be headed for the Metro championship. We move Vanguard all the way to three as the Coursers are unbeaten against Colorado teams. Then Faith Christian, Lutheran and Kent Denver are put in order by conference finish and head-to-head results. Faith Christian beat Lutheran and the Lions topped Kent Denver. Delta is also placed ahead of Centauri since they beat the Falcons head-to-head.
- Faith Christian
- Kent Denver
Remaining qualifiers are placed in positions nine through 32 based on RPI.
- Resurrection Christian
- Coal Ridge
- Colorado Springs Christian
- Montezuma Cortez
- Colorado Academy
- Grand Valley
- St Mary’s
- Pagosa Springs
- Roaring Fork
- Platte Valley
- Jefferson Academy
- Frontier Academy
- Middle Park
- La Junta
- Valley (replaced by Academy as the #2 qualifier from the Frontier – Wildcats are 35th in RPI)
- Manitou Springs (replaced by Fort Lupton since the Blue Devils earn automatic berth as #2 qualifier from the Confluence – Raptors are 38th in RPI)
There are several places where teams could be moved based on conference finish and head-to-head competition. Coal Ridge is fourth in the Western Slope league so the Titans could be dropped despite a strong RPI. Bayfield could also move higher as they’re currently second in the Intermountain league. They’ve swept Alamosa and split two games with Montezuma Cortez. Platte Valley could also be placed higher as they sit third in the Patriot behind Sterling and Resurrection Christian in the Patriot.
We’re just not sure how many places up or down, the committee will move teams outside their RPI rankings. For example, would they bump Bayfield from 23rd to 12th and ahead of Cortez if they finish higher in the conference standings. And the same with Gunnison and Grand Valley. Will they move the Cowboys and Cardinals ahead of Coal Ridge (jump of five spots) since they both beat the Titans in regular season play.
For our purposes, we will use head-to-head and common opponents for placing teams in the top eight but keeps teams 9-32 in the same order. Please note the bracket will be played out from start to finish as regional champions will NOT be reseeded ahead of the state tournament.
In laying out the bracket, we moved just two teams as we flipped Platte Valley and Jefferson Academy to avoid Platte Valley pairing up with Resurrection Christian in the first round. The teams actually stayed in the same regional but exchanged first round opponents.
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Colorado Preps will also predict state tournament qualifiers in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A later Monday. It will be presented in our newest podcast and will be available through the website.