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Saints deserve Open Division top spot

02/17/2014, 9:51am PST
By Craig Malveaux

San Diego Section playoff seedings will be announced Saturday

Trey Kell takes a shot for St. Augustine, which is expected to be the No. 1 seed in the Open Division.

As the dust settles, the playoff picture in San Diego Section basketball becomes as clear as glass.

You know the “elite” teams; you also know which teams should be the top seeds in each Division. So do I.

The eye test rarely fails.

However, this season, there’s an independent variable — the new power rankings system that has been introduced to boys basketball.

The system, being reintroduced years after its initial inception, awards points to each team based on their respective performance during the regular season. The final tally, along with the consultation of a human committee, will determine the CIF playoff seeding for the postseason.

Tuesday, my colleague John Maffei will detail the logistic of the system in a separate piece.

But back to the rankings. Let’s cipher through the teams and determine who should be atop the Open Division, Division I and Division II when the postseason tips off Feb. 25.

Open Division

The top seed is a no-brainer. Should there be any question as to who deserves that spot? Not in my eyes. The defending CIF Division III Section and State playoff champion St. Augustine Saints (23-2) have been the best team in San Diego all season. The Top 10 rankings would agree.

Aside from a perfect record against local play, the Saints have quality victories over Torrey Pines, La Costa Canyon — both Top 10 teams — Mission Bay, Cathedral Catholic and University City.

Now, the No. 2 spot gets a bit tricky.

Torrey Pines, La Costa Canyon and El Camino have cases. The Falcons defeated Top 10 opponent in Parker, but lost to St. Augustine and La Costa Canyon. So, they’ll bow out of the discussion. That leaves the Mavericks, who have lost to three Top 10 opponents, and the Wildcats, who have only one Top 10 victory, left.

Here’s the thing, though: that Top 10 victory came against La Costa Canyon. The rematch between the Avocado-West teams is Tuesday. Hypothetically speaking La Costa Canyon wins, bringing the split, do you award the team that has won 17 of 18 games or the team that has played the most difficult schedule?

I’m inclined to say the latter, provided La Costa Canyon wins. If not, El Camino should be your No. 2 seed.

Division I

This is a mess. Cathedral Catholic, Mission Bay, Helix, San Marcos and Eastlake are all in contention.

Conventional wisdom says No. 8 Eastlake (21-5), but the Titans have lost to both Helix and Cathedral Catholic, who has defeated University City and Mission Bay, also, but lost to Lincoln.

If I were picking, I’d probably award the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to San Marcos and Cathedral Catholic. San Marcos played a number of Top 10 teams and barely lost to them and Cathedral has a Top 10 victory over Eastlake.

This could go in so many directions, though.

Division II

The Top Two seeds belong to No. 2 Mater Dei Catholic and No. 7 Francis Parker in some way. There’s no question. Here’s my argument for the Crusaders (23-2). Mater Dei Catholic defeated No. 4 La Costa Canyon, Mission Bay, No. 8 Eastlake twice, San Marcos and Hoover.

Case closed.

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