It's Time To Revise The Basketball Playoffs

This past week has been filled with confusion and many meaningless 5A regional tournament games thanks to the new power point system put in place this year...

This past week has been filled with confusion and many meaningless 5A regional tournament games thanks to the new power point system put in place this year.

Angry, frustrated coaches, players and fans are already calling for changes. Some want the regional tourney games to count in the power ratings. Others are concerned about the future of Holiday Tournaments.  Following is a solution to all concerns.

With the new 5A power point system, it may be time to consider scrapping our present regional format, thusly eliminating regional tournaments.  The current agenda has become stale and boring and resulted in some teams having to play each other 3, 4, even 5 times in a season.  (Remember when St. Mary's beat Brophy five times in ‘00-‘01?)

Since we've turned almost everything else in life over to computers, I believe it's time a computer made up our high school basketball schedules.

"Puter" would consider a team's previous season's power rating while scheduling opponents for the upcoming season.  Schedules would be balanced as best as possible so every team played comparably difficult opponents.  Teams would play each other only once during the regular season.

This all-wise, impartial, objective computer would also take into consideration the mileage between all conference schools and do its best to schedule every team with an equal amount of traveling.  Games requiring travel distances of more than 75 miles would be scheduled on weekends if at all possible.

Games would be played on Tuesday and Friday or Saturday nights.

One weekend date would be left open later in the season to allow schools to arrange to play their longtime rival, home one year, away the next.  These "rival" games would not count in the power rankings.

Let's look at the 5A Conference for an example of how this might work.  Currently there are 51 teams.  Each team would play 24 regular season games, 12 home, 12 away. Additional holiday tournament games would be excluded from the power ratings so as to allow different conference classifications to play each other. (4A vs. 3A, etc.)

The state playoffs would begin at the conclusion of the regular season and include EVERY team………all 51.  Some of the highest ranked teams could or would get a first round bye and there would need to be one or more pigtail games for the lowest ranked teams.  (See below for a hypothetical tourney.)

This new system would be fair and equitable to all.  It would be more exciting because you'd never know which teams you'd be playing from year to year.

Since Phoenix area teams would play Tucson teams on a regular basis, a better balance of power would naturally result.

My new scheduling system would be much more student/athlete friendly as midweek travel would be cut significantly.

The new system would also be good for the economy, as many families would stay overnight for the weekend games when they had to travel a significant distance.

It's time for a change and AZ high school basketball will be better for it.

51 - 5A Teams  (48 seeds in tourney)

Teams power rated at #48-51 are pigtailed. #48 plays #51 #49 plays #50 Winners play for 48th seed.

1st round, all 48 teams play, games at higher seed.

2nd round two days later, all 24 teams play, games at higher seed.

3rd round two days later, all 12 teams play, games at higher seed.

4th round at least two days later, all six teams play, "Super Six" at America West Arena.

5th round at least two days later, three teams left, highest seed awarded a bye into championship game. Semi-Final played at AWA and Championship game played at AWA two days later.

*** I'm not a mathematician, so fine-tuning likely will be required to make this model work.

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