Xcellent 25 National Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
A series of mildly surprising results over the weekend in Ohio and Pennsylvania opened the door for a trio of debuts in the national rankings, as well as a return to the Xcellent 25 for two other teams.
The final Xcellent 25 will be released April 7 following an appearance in the National High School Invitational by No. 8 Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
. Perhaps there should be some lobbying between now and then to make it the Xcellent 27, as a couple of very deserving teams are on the outside looking in.Roselle Catholic
(25-5) missed the cut despite capturing New Jersey's Tournament of Champions crown – annually one of the toughest state titles in the country to win. The MaxPreps Freeman Rankings
have the Lions pegged No. 15 nationally.
But a Jan. 20 loss for Roselle Catholic to Walnut Hills (Cincinnati)
is troubling. Walnut Hills fell in Ohio's Division I semifinals Friday to Rogers (Toledo)
, which turned around and lost to new No. 25 Mentor
in the championship game.
Mentor beat the man who beat the man who beat the man.
It's a reach in tying Roselle Catholic and Mentor together, but the only even remotely legitimate point for comparison and an illustration of how difficult it can be to stack up teams from different states.
Tennessee Class AAA state champ Southwind (Memphis)
is another squad tough to exclude. The Jaguars played eight games against teams that were ranked nationally by MaxPreps at some point in the season and went 2-6 in those contests. But they were 0-4 against teams currently ranked.
Aforementioned Mentor, newlycrowned Pennsylvania Class AAAA champ Lower Merion (Ardmore)
and Minnesota Class AAA champ DeLaSalle (Minneapolis)
all make their debuts in this week's Xcellent 25.Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.)
and Omaha Central (Neb.)
return to the fray after strong finishes to the season.
Read on for a complete look at this week's rankings:1. (No. 1 last week) Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), 26-1
Season complete. Class 5A state champions.2. (2) Germantown (Wis.), 28-0
Season complete. Division 1 state champions.3. (3) Simeon (Chicago), 30-3
Season complete. Class 4A state champions.4. (4) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 34-2
Season complete. Open Division champions.5. (5) Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.), 30-0
Season complete. Class 4A state champions.