Both Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep are now projected to land in the CCS Open Division after splitting their season series.
Courtesy of Menlo School Athletics
Prep2Prep CCS Boys Basketball Playoff Projections
UPDATED February 11, 2020
Each division will be broken down in its appropriate section, but one thing must be remembered: Leagues can only put one team up for seeding at a time. This can create a logjam effect if a better team finishes behind a lesser team in their league standings, because teams from other leagues could supersede that lesser team, leaving the better team waiting in the wings as well.
Friday’s results have sent massive changes throughout the Open Division. At the top, the only difference is that Bellarmine and Mitty have switched places, but the lower seeds have completely been shaken up. Los Altos is absolutely gone from the Open picture after losing to Cupertino, and for the moment, both WBAL contenders are in. Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep both beat St. Ignatius and split head-to-head, which would currently give them the last two spots. Those Wildcats do have a shot at getting in now that they’ve beaten Mitty, but head-to-head results currently hold them back. However, if they were to beat one of Bellarmine or Serra, they’d absolutely have a case to get in, even with those earlier losses.
All of this leaves Carmel all but gone from the Open field, barring any major upsets in the remaining WBAL games. Menlo hosts Eastside on Tuesday and SHP finishes with Woodside Priory, but the two don’t have any other difficult games left. Now that SI has a win over Mitty, it would be hard to see any of Carmel’s wins stacking up against the ‘Cats or either of the WBAL teams, which will likely leave the Padres in Division IV. Of course, more upsets could come to rattle the field even further, but as things now stand, it looks like Monterey County will have no Open Division representation this year.
With a win over St. Francis, defending champion Sacred Heart Cathedral isn’t completely out of the picture, but the Fightin’ Irish would likely need to beat one of Bellarmine or Riordan to get into the discussion.
With Los Altos’ loss to Cupertino, there’s absolutely no way the Eagles could reach the Open Division, causing a massive domino effect. They slot in as the second seed behind Palo Alto, and everyone else moves down a spot in turn. That means there are 17 teams vying for 16 spots, and that leaves San Benito as the unlucky victim likely to miss the postseason. Carlmont is still in the hunt but lost in double overtime to Woodside on Friday night. The Scots will need to win their final two games against Aragon and Sequoia in order to reach the postseason, which would likely jettison either Alisal or Fremont from the field. North Salinas could also be eligible with a .500 league record, but the odds of the Vikings getting into the field are next to zero.
Cupertino’s win has further-reaching effects than just knocking Los Altos out of the Open hunt. The Pioneers are once again tied with Homestead for fourth, and while the Mustangs have the tiebreaker with a head-to-head sweep, both are also just a half-game behind Mountain View and a half-game ahead of Milpitas. The way those spots shake out will decide not only the seedings of those teams, but the others being placed on the board with them.
Projecting Division II is especially tricky with jumbled league standings. Leigh now sits at 4-7 in league play, meaning the Longhorns would have to win out in order to qualify for the postseason. They’re currently projected to miss the playoffs, which would allow any team that was previously seeded behind them to move up a seed. As of now, that leaves the Division II bracket with 15 teams, but Aragon would qualify by beating either Carlmont or Hillsdale. Gunn is currently projected as in, barring a shocking upset to close the season against last-place Monta Vista. Branham also has an outside chance, needing to win three straight to close the season, and Lincoln is also still alive.
As for the teams that are certainly going to be in the field, Leland has a win over Palo Alto, a team that has a win over Valley Christian. The Warriors are a particularly difficult team to place because they presently lack any strong wins, having played a weak nonleague schedule to ensure playoff eligibility, a necessary measure in the WCAL.
Major changes have been made in the projections from the last go-around, largely spurred by Santa Clara’s win over Wilcox to create a tie atop the SCVAL El Camino standings. If the Bruins are placed on the board first, they could jump to the sixth seed while Wilcox falls to ninth, sitting behind Oak Grove and Pioneer by virtue of a loss to Branham. It’s possible the Chargers fall even farther, going as far as behind Hill, but their win over Washington-Fremont should help, especially as the Huskies race for a MVAL title.
What looked like a stable picture in Division III has been completely flipped around in the wake of a few upsets and changes in league standings. St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral are both vying for the last Open Division spot, though as of now, neither would make it. There’s no way more than one of the two qualifies.
The other biggest shakeup comes from El Camino drawing even with Westmoor in the PAL North standings by virtue of splitting the head-to-head season series. The Colts, who should have no trouble officially securing qualification on Tuesday against Oceana, will be placed on the board before the Rams and would be able to jump all the way from an unseeded position to the ninth spot.
As for the Rams, they need to win one of their final two games against Terra Nova and Jefferson to get in. If they don’t, it would open up a spot for Greenfield. The Bruins have qualified, but with 17 teams fighting for 16 spots, they’d get the short end of the stick unless either Westmoor loses both games or one of SI or SHC heads to the Open Division.
Also of note is Aptos’ current position behind Sobrato from an early head-to-head loss, but the teams have changed fortunes since then. The Mariners have such a heavy football presence on their roster that a slow start is no surprise, and if they win the SCCAL Tournament, they’ll have a strong case to pass the Bulldogs.
Now that Sacred Heart Prep has beaten Menlo, both are projected to make the Open Division, which would slide everyone else up a spot in Division IV. Of course, it’s possible that one of those teams gets supplanted, most likely by St. Ignatius, which would in turn send that team to the top seed in the D-IV field.
For now, the biggest change outside of the Open Division chain reaction is Gonzales’ move ahead of King City in the PCAL Santa Lucia standings. The lead is currently a half-game, and the teams are set to meet at Gonzales on Wednesday. A win for the Mustangs would complete a season series sweep and likely push them back up to the ninth seed.
Pacific Grove’s qualification will boil down to a nonleague game against Stevenson on Feb. 18, the final night before the seeding meeting. Pacific Grove will be projected as out for now, but winning that game could create a significant domino effect. Most of the other teams still around the bubble would hold some of the bottom spots. Design Tech and King’s Academy have yet to officially secure eligibility, but both are in good shape. Other teams still battling to qualify include Latino College Prep, San Jose and Terra Nova. With those teams and the Open Division still taking shape, the Division IV field could be as small as 13 teams or as big as 16. Up to 18 teams have a realistic chance to make it, which would leave a couple of qualified teams out. As of now, Pacific Grove and Terra Nova are projected to miss the playoffs.
Division V is always tough to project, not so much because of teams with confusing wins and losses but because of the teams that often fail to post their results online. Many of the schools in Division V either played very few nonleague games or just neglected to post those scores, leaving lots of guesswork to be done. Fortunately, the teams almost all come from the PCAL, PSAL and WBAL, taking out much of the confusion. The biggest thing for the seeding committee to figure out is how to place the teams across different divisions of the PSAL.
Head-to-head results are a major factor in figuring out Division V. Crystal Springs has a win over Nueva, who has a win over Oakwood, who has a win over St. Francis SCP and will therefore be projected over the Sharks despite coming from a lower division in the PCAL.
Mountain View Academy leads the PSAL Central and would be in line for a decent seed, but the Mustangs will not be entering the playoffs as the school’s senior class trip is planned for the final week of February.