Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is always a defining time in the high school basketball season with the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions and Spalding Hoophall Classic establishing themselves as the premiere events of the holiday weekend.
The Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions features five ranked teams in the loaded eight-team field showcasing No. 2 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.), No. 9 Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.), No. 12 Shadow Mountain (Phoenix), No. 15 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) and No. 23 Rainier Beach (Seattle).
The Spalding Hoophall Classic has developed into the top showcase event of the season and this year is no different as the robust field features another lineup bursting at the seams with elite high major talent and Top 25 teams. This year's event fields 12 of the top 20 seniors in the nation, according to 247Sports
The loaded MLK weekend event also showcases 13 teams ranked among this week's Top 25. Marquee games at the event include — No. 3 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) vs. No. 7 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Shadow Mountain vs. No. 24 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), No. 16 Ranney (Tinton Falls, N.J.) vs. No. 19 Federal Way (Wash.), McEachern vs. No. 18 Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), No. 4 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) vs. No. 5 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 1 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) vs. No. 6 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.).
Nine of the Top 10 teams in the nation will be featured in either the Spalding Hoophall Classic or Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions in one of the biggest weeks of the high school basketball season. Plenty of change is sure to come in the upcoming Xcellent 25 Rankings following Martin Luther King weekend.
Read on for a complete look at this week's Top 25 boys high school basketball rankings.
Has an opportunity to add to another signature win to the resume this week against No. 6 DeMatha on Jan. 21 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. The Lakers appear to be a strong contender to capture their second GEICO Nationals championship in program history this season.
2. (2) McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.), 14-0
A strong case could be made for the Indians to return to the top of the rankings if they can survive through Martin Luther King Jr. weekend unbeaten. A trip to the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions, and a monster Monday showdown with No. 18 Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), looms for the City of Palms champions this week.
Faces Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) at the Flyin to the Hoop Invitational on Friday before taking on No. 7 Oak Hill Academy on Sunday. The matchup with the Warriors is one of the most anticipated games of the high school basketball season — set to air in prime time on ESPN.
Two in-state games against Windward (Los Angeles) and Crossroads (Santa Monica) stand between the Trailblazers and a rematch with No. 5 Montverde Academy. The Eagles handed Sierra Canyon its only loss on the season last month at the 'Iolani Classic.
5. (5) Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), 12-2
Has the opportunity to notch a pair of massive wins at the Spalding Hoophall Classic — facing Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) and No. 4 Sierra Canyon. The defending GEICO Nationals champions start one of their toughest stretches of the season beginning MLK weekend.
Picked up a pair of quality Washington Catholic Athletic Conference wins over Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 62-58 and St. John's (Washington, D.C.) 78-65 last week to stay unbeaten in conference play. The Stags take on No. 1 La Lumiere at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in their final out-of-conference contest of the regular season.
Returned to the court last week for the first time since a semifinal loss to Imhotep Charter in the City of Palms Classic semifinal on Dec. 21 — defeating Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) 65-59 after trailing by eight points at the half. The Warriors draw No. 3 IMG Academy at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in their most highly anticipated game of the season.
Toughest stretch of games begins when they face Fairfax (Los Angeles) and Clark (Las Vegas) over the upcoming MLK weekend. The Tigers follow up their busy weekend with a trip to the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament to take on a loaded eight-team field.
9. (9) Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.), 17-0
An opportunity to climb into the top five awaits the Maroons when they travel to the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions. Belleville West opens with No. 12 Shadow Mountain and a first-round win earns them a likely showdown against No. 2 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ill.).
A tough week lies ahead with games against Lawrence Central (Indianapolis) and Zionsville (Ind.) on back-to-back nights over the weekend. The Warriors appear to be in prime position to defend their IHSAA Class 4A state title as their win streak continues to grow.
11. (12) Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.), 12-0
Appear to be in great position to defend their New Jersey tournament of champions crown, with their schedule ramping up in the coming weeks. The Lions take on Norcross (Ga.) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic before a challenging stretch against Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone), Camden and No. 16 Ranney to end the month.
The most challenging week of the season awaits as the Matadors will open the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions with No. 9 Belleville West. Shadow Mountain follows up its trip to Missouri with a Monday morning showdown with Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
The Pride have exceeded early expectations with a Chick-fil-A Classic title followed by signature wins over No. 20 Curie and Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) at Mustang Madness to put this group on the map. Salesian takes on in-state foe Albany on the road before facing Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) on Jan. 21.
With the recent announcement of a teachers strike in Los Angeles, it appears unlikely the Comets will take the court this week. The strike likely will cost Westchester all four of their games this week, with the big one being Fairfax (Los Angeles), scheduled for Friday. It's unknown how long and to what extend this strike will affect the approximate 600,000 students who will be furloughed.
After a week off, the Kansas powerhouse travels to the Bass Pro tournament where they open with No. 23 Rainier Beach (Seattle). A strong finish at the loaded event would bode well for the Buffaloes chances of receiving a first ever GEICO Nationals invite.
Suffered their first loss of the season to MacDuffie (Granby, Mass.) 79-75 one day after picking up a huge win over previous No. 23 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) 56-55. The Panthers have a chance to redeem themselves this week when they face No. 19 Federal Way
at the Spalding Hoophall Classic on Jan. 21.
Host the Toyota Classic this week with an opportunity to defend its home court in the three-game tournament. The Cardinals have won 46 of their past 48 games dating back to last season, with legendary head coach Billy Hicks amassing the 1,000 wins mark at the Beach Ball Classic last month.
After picking up a signature win over Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.) 66-56 in a nationally televised showdown, the Eagles were upset by Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) in a crushing 72-60 defeat. Rancho Christian has an opportunity to build their national resume back up as it faces No. 2 McEachern this weekend, followed by a trip to the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament.
The biggest game of their season awaits this week at the Spalding Hoophall Classic when the Eagles face off against No. 16 Ranney on Monday, Jan, 21. Expect 5-star senior forward Jaden McDaniels
to need a big-time performance for the Eagles to pull off the massive victory.
Only loss of the season came to unbeaten No. 13 Salesian at Mustang Madness earlier this month. The Condors look to be serious contenders to challenge the defending IHSA Class 4A state champions Belleville West for state supremacy in March.
The Knights appear to be through the challenging part of their schedule, with a showdown at Homestead (Mequon, Wisc.) on Feb. 8 being their only clear challenge remaining in the regular season. Nicolet is 2-1 against out-of-state opponents with wins over St. John's (Washington, D.C.) and Chaminade (St. Louis) and their lone loss coming to No. 24 Paul VI.
22. (22) Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), 19-3
completing the most difficult part of their schedule, the Spartans have
showdowns with Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.) and Wenonah (Birmingham) later this month. The showdown with Wenonah will provide Mountain
Brook the opportunity to avenge its only in-state loss of the season.
23. (24) Rainier Beach (Seattle), 9-1
The biggest opportunity of the season lies ahead as a trip to the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions will define their national standing. The Vikings begin the event with a tall task, facing No. 15 Sunrise Christian Academy in their first round match-up.
one of the most impressive wins of the season, the Panthers dominated
their Washington Catholic Athletic Catholic rival Gonzaga (Washington,
D.C.) 69-44 on the road last week. A difficult slate of games looms this
week as showdowns with Bishop O'Connell (Arlington) and No. 12 Shadow
Mountain linger for this talented group.
A very difficult week lies ahead as the Tigers face Pickerington North (Pickerington, Ohio) on Friday and Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) in the final game of the Flyin to the Hoop Invitational on Jan. 21.
No. 23 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)