Video: Xcellent 25 Girls Basketball Rankings Presented by The Army National GuardMyckena Guerrero takes a look at how this week's rankings are shaking out.
As with almost any set of rankings, there are some easy calls, some fairly easy calls and some that tie you up in knots — and it's knot-tying season here at the Xcellent 25.
The half-hitch this week is new No. 25 Bishop McNamara's upset win over previous No. 4 Paul VI. McNamara has five losses, including two (to Bishop Ireton and Bishop O'Connell) that would normally be enough for Xcellent 25 disqualification. But Bishop McNamara not only beat PVI, it also has a win over No. 19 St. Frances. Plus, it also has victories over both Bishop Ireton and Bishop O'Connell.
Another issue is which team might take that 25th spot if it isn't awarded to Bishop McNamara. There are several strong candidates, most of which are unbeaten but, for one reason or another, have not played nearly the kind of schedule McNamara has. We have opted to go with the team that has played a lot of good teams and some elite teams, and has two big-time wins — as well as two questionable losses. Others might pick an unbeaten team that hasn't faced much in-state competition, claiming that not losing to this point in the season, regardless of the level of opposition, is the tougher task.
Reasonable people can disagree on that issue, and in fact, on many others, which is why putting together the Xcellent 25 is as complicated as tying a figure-eight Savoy knot. And of course, our knot will unravel by next week, as the inevitable upsets will have us starting all over again.
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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.), 22-0
The last two league games are Wednesday and Saturday, and then Mitty will begin the long California postseason. The state championship game isn't until March 24, and there will be plenty of potential land mines along the way.2. (2) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), 22-0
League play finishes Saturday, and then Christ the King will start wending its way through the New York postseason in search of state title No. 16. And if that goes well, and No. 1 Mitty stumbles, another national title might also be added to the list.3. (3) Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 27-1
At long last, the playoffs begin, though unbeaten Bradley Central is looming in the 4A bracket.4. (5) St. John's (Washington, D.C.), 24-2
The challenging Washington Catholic Athletic Conference schedule concludes with new No. 25 Bishop McNamara on Monday — and then everyone goes at it again in the WCAC playoffs.5. (6) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 22-2
Tempers flared, and fisticuffs were exchanged, in a 68-54 win over NorCal power Salesian, and it's possible the two teams will meet again in the Open Division playoffs. The real postseason battle, though, will be against No. 1 Mitty.6. (8) Duncanville (Texas), 36-1
DeSoto keeps getting closer and closer, losing in overtime in the last meeting, but Duncanville is as comfortable as any team can be in the postseason, having won nine state championships. Still, DeSoto could get another shot on Feb. 24.7. (4) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 24-3
Paul VI only falls to No. 7, as it has a win over No. 8 Hamilton Heights, and losing to Bishop McNamara is no disgrace. PVI also has wins over Incarnate Word of Missouri, once-ranked Long Island Lutheran, New Jersey power Manasquan and, don't forget, Bishop McNamara.8. (7) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 19-2
Hamilton Heights has had trouble finding games, and though Legacy Charter will play the nation's No. 7 Friday, Hamilton Heights won by 62 first time. That will be the first game since Jan. 27.9. (9) Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), 19-4
Riverdale Baptist just keeps playing really good teams — and this week, Rock Creek and National Christian Academy are on the road. The first time around, at home, Riverdale Baptist beat Rock Creek by eight, and NCA in overtime.10. (10) Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), 35-2
Mansfield Timberview and Duncanville will have to be content splitting their season series, as Mansfield Timberview is 5A, not 6A. But the 5A brackets include Amarillo and Canyon, two very good teams that could make that long-ago win over Duncanville moot.11. (11) Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh, N.C.), 24-0
After beating up on its conference opponents for the past couple months, this week Southeast Raleigh can beat up on them again in the conference playoffs.12. (12) Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.), 20-1
Princess Anne will begin its playoff march when the Class 5, Region A postseason starts Monday.13. (13) St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.), 21-1
St. Rose was ranked until it got upset by Manasquan, but St. John-Vianney will still have its hands full against St. Rose (most likely) next Tuesday. And after that, the Shore Conference Tournament will deliver Red Bank Catholic or Manasquan on Feb. 24.14. (14) Centennial (Las Vegas), 25-3
Given Centennial's dominance, sometimes it's easy to overlook the other good teams in Nevada, but Centennial better not. Both Desert Oasis (20-4 and Thursday's opponent) and 26-2 Spring Valley (Saturday) are more than capable of coming up with an upset.15. (15) Baldwin (N.Y.), 18-1
Baldwin, like No. 2 Christ the King, will begin the long and winding New York playoff road Tuesday against the winner of Calhoun and Oceanside. 16. (16) Mercer County (Harrodsburg, Ky.), 26-3
So you want to brag about your team's tough schedule? Mercer County's opponents in its last seven games have combined for 139 wins. And now come the Kentucky playoffs, which have no divisions, so all those good teams are back in the mix again.17. (18) Winter Haven (Fla.), 27-1
Of the nine Florida divisions, 8A is the most difficult — and that's the one Winter Haven plays in. If Winter Haven wins out, it will deservedly rise in the rankings.18. (19) Central Valley (Spokane Valley, Wash.), 22-0
Central Valley has already beaten 15-7 Lewis & Clark by 30 and 23, which sort of removes the suspense from Friday's game — though then comes Washington state's Hardwood Classic, which is just a fancy name for the state championship.19. (20) St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 19-4
McDonogh has been harder for St. Frances to shake than a bad habit, as once again, St. Frances may have to battle the once-ranked team. Then again, Roland Park is also in the IAAM bracket, and that's a tough draw, too.20. (21) Westlake (Atlanta), 25-1
The Georgia High School Association AAAAAAA playoffs begin, but Westlake probably won't be tested until the end of the month. At that point, if form holds, Collins Hill would be the opponent. 21. (25) Edwardsville (Ill.), 25-0
As with many teams in the Xcellent 25, Edwardsville will spend the first few games of the playoffs rolling over teams it has handled easily all year. The sectional championship will be Feb. 22, and things will get more interesting from that point on. 22. (NR) Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.), 22-1
Southridge has been Oregon's best all year, and the only loss is to No. 14 Centennial. There are two more games before the 6A playoffs start.23. (NR) Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta), 26-1
Yes, Holy Innocents has a loss to unranked Buford, but it also has a win over the top team in Alabama, Hoover. And 24-3 Buford is favored to win the Georgia AAAAA title.24. (24) Eastview (Apple Valley, Minn.), 22-0
The regular season staggers on until Feb. 23, after which Eastview will prepare for unbeaten Wayzata or perennial power Hopkins.25. (NR) Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), 19-5
Despite five losses, Bishop McNamara jumps into the Xcellent 25 thanks to its upset over previous No. 4 Paul VI. And though there are defeats to Bishop Ireton and Bishop O'Connell, McNamara has also beaten both – plus there's a win over No. 19 St. Frances.Dropped out:
No. 17 Pike (Indianapolis), No. 22 Pickerington Central (Ohio), No. 23 St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.)