By Adam Diehl
For Enchantment Sports
Okay boys and girls, it’s that time of the year. Every high school hoops season I try and predict the boys and girls state tournament brackets. There is a formula to this madness and I’ll try to explain that to you. The NMAA has 6 criteria that they use to seed a field of 16 teams in the basketball tournament. In no particular order, 1. Finish in District play. 2. Max prep Rankings. 3. Overall record. 4. Head to Head. 5. Wins against other district champs regardless of class. 6. Coach’s input form, a.k.a coaches last top 16 poll. I take this criteria and use the NMAA rules and then add in my own predictions for the remainder of the season. So here we go!
#1 Las Cruces vs #16 Sandia- Las Cruces is unbeaten and it looks like they will stay that way. They have a softer district no doubt, but some good non-district wins, and district 1 beating each other up, this probably won’t change. Sandia slides in I believe. I think they finish just above Manzano for 3rd in district and beat them out for the last spot.
#8 Santa Fe vs #9 Hobbs- I still think Santa Fe win a tough district, but there loss at Clovis will hurt their seed. Hobbs currently sits in 2nd place in their district and would need to beat Clovis twice to gain a home game.
#4 Rio Rancho vs #13 Onate- Rio Rancho is playing fantastic and currently in first place in the toughest district in the state, but I don’t think this is sustainable. They got hammered at Cleveland on Tuesday and I believe will finish behind Cleveland and Volcano Vista is district. Onate is in a 2nd place tie in the southern district with a good 13-8 record. Onate has a chance to move up on this bracket as long as they can beat Mayfield and Gadsden.
#5 Atrisco vs #12 La Cueva- Atrisco can still jump Rio Rancho, Cleveland and Volcano Vista with a strong district finish. La Cueva is on the way up! 4-0 in district with a win against Eldorado. I am projecting Eldorado pay La Cueva back to win the district, but if I’m wrong and La Cueva can beat Eldorado again they can jump into the top 8.
#3 Cleveland vs #14 Mayfield- Cleveland can still win District 1 and get the a 2 seed. But that’s their selling. They can also lose 2 more games and drop to a 5 or 6 seed. Mayfield has played their way into the tournament as of now. They can’t climb much higher though, unless they upset Las Cruces.
#6 Eldorado vs #11 Capital- Eldorado have to beat La Cueva and really win out if they want to grab this seed. Capital has a record, but they are struggling in district. All of a sudden they’re not even safely in at this point.
#2 Volcano Vista- They, like Cleveland can win district 1 and take this seed. They can also lose a couple games and drop to 5. Gadsden is holding on with a 3 way tie in district with Onate and Mayfield. If they can come out ahead they’re in. If not, they will stay on the bubble.
- Albuquerque- is now 3-2 and tied for the lead in district play. If they can beat Santa Fe on Friday night (LIVE on MY50 TY) then watch out!!
- 2. Manzano- They need some big district wins. They have to finish above ABQ high and Sandia to get in.