The field for GEICO Nationals – high school basketball's version of March Madness – is expected to be announced Tuesday. There shouldn't be any surprises as eight teams have left the bubble behind in advance of the 13th annual event.
If projections come to fruition, the field would feature the top eight teams in the MaxPreps National Top 20 rankings — giving the event a true national championship feel.
If Link Academy wins, it will likely secure the No. 4 seed in the event field and face La Lumiere in the first round. The loss would drop AZ Compass Prep to No. 7 in the event field.
Although Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
is ranked No. 4 in the National Top 20, the Eagles are expected to be locked into the No. 3 seed in the event with IMG Academy as the No. 2 spot due to two head-to-head wins for IMG.
The national championship event is being played from March 31 through April 2 at the Suncoast Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.
Projected GEICO Nationals field
National Top 20: No. 1
After capturing the NIBC championship by going 9-1 in conference play, the Buffaloes are a lock to receive the top seed in GEICO Nationals with wins over five teams in the field. Sunrise Christian Academy is currently 2-2 in event history but have an opportunity to capture the the program's first national title led by MaxPreps National Player of the Year finalists Gradey Dick
and Mark Mitchell
National Top 20: No. 2Breakdown:
The Ascenders have one of the most talented starting lineups with five top 75 seniors that includes three McDonald's All American selections — Keyonte George
, Jarace Walker
and Jaden Bradley
. IMG is bidding for its second national championship in four years after winning GEICO Nationals for the first time in 2019.
National Top 20: No. 3Breakdown:
In the program's first year of existence, the Lions have done nothing but impress with its only loss coming against No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy. A big weekend awaits at the Top Gun Showcase. Link had a pair of players named to the McDonald's All American Game — Julian Phillips
and Jordan Walsh
National Top 20: No. 4Breakdown:
The most successful program in GEICO Nationals history, the Eagles have captured five event championships (2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2021) and are the two-time defending national champions. Head coach Kevin Boyle's team has faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Top 40 seniors Dariq Whitehead
, Dillon Mitchell
, Jalen Hood-Schifino
, Skyy Clark
and Malik Reneau
are among names to watch.
National Top 20: No. 5Breakdown:
The Hoosier State powerhouse is expected to make its ninth appearance in the national championship event, with its only event title coming in 2017. The Lakers have an outstanding backcourt with J.J. Starling
, Jeremy Fears
and Aden Holloway
. Don't count out La Lumiere, which has posted wins over IMG Academy, AZ Compass Prep and Oak Hill Academy this year.
National Top 20: No. 6Breakdown:
After securing their first GEICO Nationals berth last season, the Dragons will be a tough out. Led by four top 40 prospects in Dylan Andrews
, Chance Westry
, Kylan Boswell
and Mookie Cook
, AZ Compass Prep continues to prove it belongs.
National Top 20: No. 7Breakdown:
Winners of 19 consecutive games, the Warriors are the first-round opponent that no higher seed wants to face with a deeper meaning behind their run. The Warriors would like to send coaching great Steve Smith out on top after he announced he will be retiring at the end of the season. Star seniors Chris Livingston
and Judah Mintz
need to play at a high level to bring home the program's second GEICO Nationals title.
National Top 20: No. 8Breakdown:
The Gray Bees likely locked up their first appearance in GEICO Nationals since 2016 with a pair of wins over Prolific Prep and Southern California Academy last month. Although Prep has suffered just one loss, a relatively weak schedule leaves them likely locked into the No. 8 seed. Always well-coached, St. Benedict's Prep may have a chance to make it closer than expected in their first round contest behind talented guard duo Ty-Laur Johnson
and Everton Browne