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 5th 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: Academy #1, Middle Park #2
- Other qualifiers: Lake County
- Patriot (5)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Eaton #1, Platte Valley #2
- Other qualifiers: Resurrection Christian, University, Estes Park
- Metro (6)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Lutheran #1, Colorado Academy #2
- Other qualifiers: Skyview Academy, Faith Christian, Prospect Ridge, Kent Denver
- Tri Peaks (6)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Colorado Springs Christian #1, St Mary’s #2
- Other qualifiers: Vanguard, Manitou Springs, Lamar, Salida
- Intermountain (3)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Pagosa Springs #1, Alamosa #2
- Other qualifiers: Centauri
- Western Slope (6)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Delta #1, Moffat County #2
- Other qualifiers: Cedaredge, Grand Valley, Roaring Fork, Coal Ridge
- Confluence (2)
- Automatic Qualifiers: Strive Prep #1, Eagle Ridge Academy #2
- Other qualifiers: None
- Colorado 8 (1)
- Automatic Qualifiers: None
- Other qualifiers: Riverdale Ridge
District champions must finish in the top 16 of RPI to earn the right to host a regional tournament and six of the seven district champions qualify. The exception is Strive Prep as they sit 30th in the current RPI standings. They would be replaced by Centauri who has the second highest RPI of non-district champions. St Mary’s also earns the right to host as the top RPI for clubs that are not projected as district champions.
With that in mind, the top eight seeds and regional hosts are in this order based on RPI.
- Colorado Springs Christian
- Pagosa Springs
- St Mary’s
RPI remains in the dominant factor in seeding but the committee this year has the ability to move teams up or down based on head-to-head results, previous district matchups and common opponents. So our guess is that the top eight teams will be in a much different order. Colorado Springs Christian would be the pick at number one with St Mary’s at number two. The Lions won the head-to-head meeting in January and since both clubs have beaten most of the top teams this year, they would be the choice at numbers one and two. Pagosa Springs would then be #3 with Eaton sitting fourth. Centauri would jump to fifth and Delta would tumble to sixth since the Falcons beat the Panthers in December. That of course would change if the Falcons fall from the top eight based on RPI. Lutheran gets the nod over Academy based on a much stronger schedule.
- Colorado Springs Christian
- St Mary’s
- Pagosa Springs
Remaining qualifiers are placed in positions nine through 32 based on RPI. They can also be moved up or down a few spots based on head-to-head results and teams placed 25-32 can also be moved for travel purposes.
For our projections, we leave teams in this order but Moffat County would likely be one team moved up as they sit higher in the Western Slope standings than Cedaredge and Grand Valley. Plus they have head-to-head wins over both. Colorado Academy and Skyview Academy share first place in the Metro (with several teams) and they play next week and that outcome will impact the pairings as well. Manitou Springs and Vanguard also play before the end of the regular season and that game will help place those two in the bracket.
Brush is the last qualifier according to RPI but the Beetdiggers would be left out in this scenario as they would be replaced by Eagle Ridge Academy. Eagle Ridge gets into our bracket as the number two automatic qualifier from the Confluence. That league has just one team in the top 32 of RPI (Strive Prep). Another note involves Riverdale Ridge as coming down from the 4A Colorado 8, the Ravens would be in the bracket based on RPI.
- Platte Valley
- Skyview Academy
- Grand Valley
- Resurrection Christian
- Moffat County
- Manitou Springs
- Roaring Fork
- Middle Park
- Faith Christian
- Riverdale Ridge (from 4A Colorado 8)
- Colorado Academy
- Prospect Ridge
- Coal Ridge
- Kent Denver
- Lake County
- Strive Prep
- Estes Park
- Brush (moved out in favor of Eagle Ridge Academy as automatic qualifier from Confluence. They’re currently 39th in RPI)
With our teams in order, we place them in the bracket. Later today, we will use these pairings to pick our eight state tournament qualifiers. That information will be available through a new podcast. Please note the bracket will be played out from start to finish and the teams will not be reseeded before the state tournament at the University of Denver.
Many teams were moved to avoid conference pairings in round one. We exchanged positions between Manitou Springs and Roaring Fork at number 17 and 18 as the Mustangs were slated to face Vanguard in round one and Roaring Fork was scheduled to face Moffat County.
The second move involved University and Lamar in spots 19 and 20. University was paired with Resurrection Christian so we moved them down one spot.
The final change took place in spots 27 and 28 as we exchanged Kent Denver and Coal Ridge. Coal Ridge was slated to face Delta in round one.
|#1||Colorado Springs Christian|
|#32||Eagle Ridge Academy|
|#26||Prospect Ridge (moved)|
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.