State tournament brackets for Class 2A boys and girls’ basketball are due out on Sunday and with the release of new RPI standings, the pairings are starting to come into focus. RPI numbers will be the main focus but the committee can also use other criteria such as head-to-head results and common opponents to move teams around a bit.
Quarterfinals are set for Thursday at the Events Center in Loveland. Champions will be crowned there as well on Saturday evening.
If we go with straight RPI for the bracket, there are some concerns as the standings put Holyoke ahead of Limon and then Del Norte and Sanford would be paired up in the 4-5 matchup. We believe the committee will use head-to-head to push Limon up to #1 as they beat the Dragons on a neutral court earlier this year. Sanford would also be dropped one spot and flipped with Wray to avoid a first-round pairing with Del Norte.
Now as we mentioned in our first bracket story, there could be a push to get Rye up to the number one spot. The Thunderbolts are the lone unbeaten in the field and that deserves to be included in the discussion for number one. They also have two wins over Rocky Ford and the Meloneers handed Limon their lone loss. As a result, common opponents could also play a role.
Hurting Rye is their RPI. They are third overall but trail Limon by .03 in the standings plus their strength of schedule if just 48 percent compared to 55 for Limon. Holyoke also has a strong list of opponents (56 percent) so we believe those two factors will have the committee keeping Rye at #3.
In dropping Sanford to #6, then that spot could also come into play for Ignacio. The Bobcats are the #7 seed based on RPI but they have a big advantage in common opponents. They have a win over Pagosa Springs (3A) while Sanford lost their game with the Pirates. Sanford also has three losses to Del Norte while Ignacio split two contests with the Tigers. RPI though is in favor of Sanford but the gap is less than .01 so we feel the Bobcats may get to move up.
Putting all that together, we get these brackets#1 Limon vs #8 Holly
- #1 Limon vs #8 Holly
- #4 Del Norte vs #5 Wray
- #3 Rye vs #6 Ignacio
- #2 Holyoke vs #7 Sanford
This is our pick for the brackets, but we could make the argument to put Rye up at number one followed by Limon and then Holyoke. If that happens, then Holly would be moved out of the #8 spot since they’re in the same league/district as Rye. Think Del Norte is a lock at number four regardless of how the committee goes.
RPI standings were released about 11:15pm on Saturday night and based on those standings, the bracket could easily be determine solely by those numbers. There is not a lot of head-to-head results to be factored in as only a couple of teams squared off during the regular season. That happened between Yuma and Wray in the Lower Platte with the Indians collecting wins each time. Limon also lost an early game to Ignacio but the clubs are separated by six spots in RPI so it’s likely that outcome will not factor into the pairings. Maybe there’s a change at #3 and #4 because Yuma did not win a district title and Sanford did but again we believe the committee will stay with the RPI order.
If that happens, the bracket shapes up in this fashion.
- #1 Limon vs #8 Peyton
- #4 Sanford vs #5 Wray
- #3 Yuma vs #6 Fowler
- #2 Highland vs #7 Ignacio