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February 21, 2013The end of the regular season for basketball ends in three nights and the tournament picture will be just a little more clear.
Great 8 Debate
Who deserves the top-8 spots? This is a big question that lingers and that has flooded my inbox this week. It is a great question to debate and go back and forth on. Also, one that nobody wants to truly agree on.
#1. | Eldorado Eagles: (17-6, 5-0 District 2-5A)
The Eagles right now are No. 2 (NMPreps.com Top 25) and when it comes down to Clovis and Eldorado we say give the nod to the team that won earlier in the season.
#2 | Clovis Wildcats: 18-6, 3-0)
The Wildcats play in what could be considered one of the toughest Districts in the State. They are currently the frontrunner and 7-game winning streak.
#3 | Valley Vikings: (18-5, 7-2)
District 5-5A is no cake walk this season and they could possibly have up to 5 teams dancing in March. The Vikings will win the regular season title with a win on Saturday and depending on the District Tournament results could lock up the 4-seed at best.
#4 | Sandia Matadors: (18-5, 3-2)
Are you shocked? Well you should be because I was when I started to look at the bracket again this week. First, they are currently the runner-up team in District 2-5A at 3-2 over La Cueva 2-3. Also, looking at the tie breaker - Sandia beat La Cueva by 5 and lost to La Cueva by 4. Yes, the NMAA could go either way when two teams tie but should they?
#5 | Hobbs Eagles: (19-6, 1-2)
One pick that many could argue against at the 5-seed. Honestly, it came down to Hobbs and Las Cruces who you will see come in at the 6th seed. Yes, I am going to grant another Runner-Up over a pair of DC's. Why not, they beat Las Cruces by 18-points on the 16th. I don't think it would be right to drop them behind anyone else.
#6 | Las Cruces Bulldawgs: (19-6, 8-0)
The Bulldawgs won their second District 3-5A title in a row, walking through District play. The Bulldawgs are a top notch team and could lock up a top spot being 8-0 in District play. A DC, is given a lot of love and should get a Top-8 spot.
#7 | Cibola Cougars: (12-11, 4-1)
It is hard to justify the Cougars as the 7-seed for me because 1-game over .500 is not really "top team". However they will be a DC, have a win over 5-seed in this breakdown. I think this "could" be the first year a DC in 5A falls out of the Top-8 because I think the 8-9 seed in this breakdown could move up.
#8 | La Cueva Bears: (19-4, 3-1)
Yes, I am going against everything I say about a third place finisher being in the Top-8 spots. Why not? The Bears have a flawless resume and if the NMAA wants they could still seed La Cueva above Sandia. The Bears deserve a first round game.
Next Five Spots
#9 | Albuquerque High Bulldogs: (14-9, 6-3)
The Bulldogs are a legit team with a solid resume heading into arguments before selection Sunday. The little dip they took in the season hurt but the Bulldogs have been playing really solid lately.
#10 | Atrisco Heritage Academy: (16-7, 5-4)
The third place finisher from District 5-5A, if they win over West Mesa on Saturday. They have enough on their resume to get this spot over other teams looking to move up in the seeds.
#11 | Volcano Vista Hawks: (12-11, 3-2)
This could be the time we place 7 teams on a dart board and pick the 11-16 seeds. The Hawks have some spotty success and could sneak up to the 11-seed as a District 1-5A runner-up but one game over .500 is not speaking anything higher.
#12 | West Mesa Mustangs: (10-13, 5-4)
I will be honest I wanted to put Carlsbad here at the 12-seed but if Hobbs in fact becomes the 5-seed (above) then the Cavemen could move to 13 or even 11. Right now we could also see the Mustangs move up if they beat Atrisco Heritage on Saturday night taking the third place finish in District 5-5A.
#13 | Carlsbad Cavemen: (16-9, 1-3)
The Cavemen have had one of their most successful seasons and will be dancing this March. The third place finish in District 4-5A could also argue for a higher seed and come Sunday morning I could move them to 10 or maybe 9?. Something interesting could happen this weekend with other seeds and they have a non-district game against Las Cruces.
Crazy Bubble Talk
Choices: Manzano, Alamogordo, Rio Rancho, Cleveland, Onate and Mayfield.
Shocked by the choices? Well, yes I am too. First Manzano has some horrible losses on their resume and they are winless in District play. Alamogordo could finish third place in District 3-5A. Rio Rancho and Cleveland will fight it out for the outright third place in District 1-5A. Onate and Mayfield play on Friday and the winner could punch a ticket to the big dance and one stays home ...or both stay home.
District 3-5A: Battle For Runner-Up
First Option: Head-to-Head
(NMAA looks at head-to-head first)
Alamogordo (2-2), Onate (1-2), Mayfield (2-1): IF, Mayfield beats Onate on Friday night they would win the head to head.
Second Option: +10, -10
Alamogordo (+2), Onate (-3), Mayfield (+1). Mayfield, if they win by more than 1 they could lock up the regular season runner up spot.
Again, the NMAA when it comes to ties, can pick whatever team they want of the three. We seen it happen with Cleveland and Rio Rancho last season. Cleveland took third (tie breaker) and also took third in the District Tournament but got left at home while Rio Rancho went dancing. I don't know if the NMAA will do that this season but the main thing is win for Onate or Mayfield and wait the fate.
Grine: If I had to pick: (14) Manzano, (15) Alamogordo, (16) Cleveland. It was hard to pick the 16 spot leaving home the potential regular season District runner-up (* tie breaker winner) in Mayfield and Onate. I would still take Alamogordo and award an above .500 team. Manzano has the best schedule of the three (should have won a few more game). Cleveland will sneak in this year - barely but could use the win over Rio Rancho. Also, I leave Rio Rancho at home after being really down in 2013 and blew up after the break.
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