Video: Xcellent 25 Girls Basketball Rankings Presented by The Army National Guard
MaxPreps host Myckena Guerrero breaks down this week's Top 25.
Right now it's a trickle, but soon it will be a flood of state playoffs — and of course, all are different.
Almost all states divide teams into various classifications, usually based on enrollment, and sometimes there are as many as nine state championships awarded. That means, of course, there aren't as many teams in each bracket as in Kentucky, say, where all the teams are put in the same playoff.
New Jersey and New York both have a post-postseason event that brings together the winners of the various classes, but California (as is the case in many things) may be on the cutting edge. This year, for the first time, the California Interscholastic Federation will take the top 88 girls' team from Northern California and the top 88 girls' teams from Southern California, and do a "competitive equity" bracket for each region.
That means school size is no longer even considered, and the committee charged with creating the brackets essentially ranks the teams from 1-88 based on their performance in the 2017-18 season. The top eight in each region will go into the Open Division and play for that state title. The next 24 will be classified Division I, and so on down to Division V, divisions that used to be determined solely by enrollment.
The advantage? No longer does a small private school that recruits and/or gives scholarships get to beat up on other small schools that just take whoever shows up. Instead, that small private school with the elite basketball program will now be matched against its peers in postseason, and will face other competitive private schools and large public schools. Meanwhile, of course, a 3,500-student school with a good, but not great, program could wind up in Division IV, despite that large enrollment.
When it comes to the rankings, that means national No. 1 Archbishop Mitty, which would be Division II by enrollment, and No. 6 St. Mary's of Stockton (Division III) very likely will meet in the NorCal Open finals rather than hammering schools that can't compete with either one. And then the winner will face the best of the best eight teams in Southern California for the state Open crown.
This is the first year for full implementation of the system, and there will be confusion and bugs to be worked out, but the underlying concept makes a lot of sense: Have the best teams play each other rather than rely on enrollment to decide who plays who.
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MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
1. (last week 1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), 18-0
Though the West Catholic Athletic League is relatively strong, it's been no challenge for Archbishop Mitty this year — and that's all that's left for No. 1 until postseason.2. (2) St. John's (Washington, D.C.), 19-1
Round two of what will likely by a three-round encounter — the last in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs — will be Friday at St. John's when No. 5 Paul VI comes calling.3. (3) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 16-0
Christ the King jumped all over No. 9 Riverdale Baptist, leading by as many as 25 before settling for an 11-point win. No. 13 St. John-Vianney, however, comes to Middle Village next Tuesday.4. (4) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 23-1
Like many Xcellent 25 teams, Riverdale has nothing very challenging until postseason.5. (5) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 20-2
It's dangerous to look ahead, as Paul VI barely escaped against 12-8 Our Lady of Good Counsel, winning by one in overtime. The narrow win keeps PVI at No. 5, and sets up the big game at No. 2 St. John's on Friday.6. (6) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 19-2
Lacking a league to play in – St. Mary's is a "competitive anomaly" in California jargon — the nation's No. 6 will play a solid Norcal opponent in Carondelet on Saturday at a neutral site.7. (7) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 19-2
Hamilton Heights has it even worse than No. 6 St. Mary's. The next game isn't until Feb. 10.8. (9) Duncanville (Texas), 32-1
Duncanville only beat DeSoto by six last time out, and they meet again next Tuesday. After that, the grueling Texas postseason begins.9. (8) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 15-4
No one can say Riverdale Baptist backs down from a challenge. After battling No. 3 Christ the King (while only having star guard Honesty Scott-Grayson for part of the game), next up is a trip to No. 12 Princess Anne on Friday.10. (11) Winter Haven (Fla.), 24-0
In our weekly ex-WNBA note, Winter Haven travels to Montverde on Thursday — a team coached by former WNBA player E.C. Hill which has a win over 22-3 Mater Dei of Santa Ana.11. (12) Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.), 21-0
Southeast Raleigh handled Leesville Road by 19 last week, but the Friday rematch will be at Leesville Road.12. (14) Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.), 15-1
Princess Anne is looking to make a move on the Top 10 when it hosts No. 9 Riverdale Baptist on Friday.13. (17) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 16-0
St. John-Vianney's stay in the top 15 may be brief, as they host in-and-out-of-the-rankings Long Island Lutheran on Saturday, and then travel to No. 3 Christ the King on Tuesday.14. (16) Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 32-2
Mansfield Timberview is in a different Texas division than No. 8 Duncanville, so the two will not play again, and thus decide their season series, which will finish at 1-1. 15. (15) Baldwin (N.Y.), 14-1
Teams can't choose their league, and must play their league opponents, so Baldwin will continue to romp until the New York postseason.16. (10) Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 22-3
Mercer County beat Sacred Heart Academy earlier this year, but after surviving a tough Male team last Saturday morning, there were no legs left for Sacred Heart on Saturday night — thus the loss, and the drop to No. 16. 17. (20) Pike (Indianapolis), 22-1
The Indiana playoff brackets are always a mystery. Perry Meridian, with seven wins and 15 losses, got a bye in the 4A playoffs, but 21-1 Pike did not. Still, expect Pike to meet Ben Davis on Saturday in its quest for a state title.18. (18) Centennial (Las Vegas), 22-3
Two league games left, but not much excitement. The average margin of victory the first time around was 52.5 points. 19. (19) Central Valley (Spokane Valley, Wash.), 19-0
The last regular season game is Wednesday, followed by the playoffs — but Central Valley (from eastern Washington, actually) has already beaten the best teams from western Washington.
20. (22) St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 14-4
After surviving strong Roland Park on Tuesday, St. Frances goes to McDonogh on Monday. All three of those teams would be tough outs anywhere in the country.21. (21) Westlake (Atlanta), 22-1
Maybe 15-7 Campbell can give Westlake a game Friday, at Campbell, but realistically, the challenges won't come until the playoffs.22. (23) Pickerington Central (Ohio), 17-1
Pickerington Central's only loss is to Kentucky's Sacred Heart Academy, which just thumped No. 16 Mercer County, but a trip to unbeaten Newark is on the calendar Feb. 10.23. (NR) St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.), 15-1
St. Rose outlasted last week's No. 13, Long Island Lutheran, 84-83, and has lost only to No. 22 Pickerington Central — which is enough for New Jersey to add another entry in the Xcellent 25.24. (24) Eastview (Apple Valley, Minn.), 17-0
The alarm will go off when the playoffs begin, but until then, Eastview can pretty much sleepwalk through its league games.25. (25) Edwardsville (Ill.), 21-0
Three-loss O'Fallon could be a challenge next Tuesday, but this one's at home, and Edwardsville won by 15 on the road.Dropped out:
No. 13 Long Island Lutheran