Only one adjustment this week, as Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
jumps into the rankings as the second team from California – which is unusual because in the recent past, the Golden State has usually had at least three teams ranked.
But that's the nature of girls basketball at the national level: It's cyclical. There have been years when Georgia has been loaded with quality teams, but there's not a single Peach State team in the Top 25 right now. Ohio is very strong this year and could wind up with three teams by season's end, while Indiana, which has been well represented over the years, has none so far.
The only constant in the past five years has been the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia), which keeps on producing elite talent that receives quality coaching, a combination that's rarer than one might think. Sure, talent is the bottom line, but it's very difficult to consistently be in the Top 25 without a coaching staff that knows how to weather the inevitable ups and downs of a long season.
And speaking of a long season, this year's No. 1 team could well be decided by what happens at GEICO Nationals, which is set for April 5-6. First, that means a team could go several weeks without playing before traveling to New York, and second, most states won't allow their teams to extend the season that long.
Luckily, the word is that Nevada has agreed to let No. 5 Centennial (Las Vegas)
participate this year, and Florida has always allowed teams to play, so No. 1 Miami Country Day (Miami)
should be there. Other candidates for the four-team field are No. 8 New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
and No. 16 Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
, though it would be even better if teams like No. 2 St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
and No. 3 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
could join the fun as well.NOTE: Teams that wish to be recognized either locally or nationally should make sure their information – schedule, results, roster, coach, etc. – is up to date on MaxPreps. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top 25 Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
Florida has more divisions than almost any other state, presumably to allow as many teams to be state champions as possible. That's a fine idea, but in Miami Country Day's regional division, every other team dropped girls basketball. That's right, every other team – so MCD had no first round playoff game and moved on literally without breaking a sweat.
After beating Bishop McNamara for the second time, St. John's now will focus on the sweep, assuming both get to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finals. That will mean a wait of a couple weeks, as the regular season doesn't end until Feb. 18.
The Southern Section round robin playoffs continue with 23-4 Redondo Union up Wednesday and 22-5 Bishop Montgomery (bolstered by transfers who weren't eligible until after Christmas) Saturday. The survivor of the pool play bracket then moves onto the championship game against the winner of the other pool.
Africentric won't play again until Feb. 19, when it begins play in the Division III Sectionals. But since the second highest seed is 10-11 Utica, it wouldn't seem Africentric has much to worry about.
Aside from that one loss, when four players were benched for repeated tardiness, Centennial has looked like one of the top two or three teams in the country. And in a down year in Nevada, it doesn't appear the 4A playoffs will be much of a challenge.
The loss to St. John's pretty much sabotaged any chance Bishop McNamara has of finishing No. 1 in the nation – and also means that talented Paul VI will be the likely semifinal opponent in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs.
Edison's only loss came to No. 4 Africentric in the first game of the season, by five points – but Saturday Edison must travel to once-beaten Wayne Memorial. And that one loss for Wayne Memorial was by just 12 points, against Edison at Edison.
After one more game, New Hope will move on to the National Association of Christian Athletes championship in Tennessee starting Feb. 19. Then comes a likely trip to the competitive Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament.
Roland Park has beaten once-ranked St. Frances twice this season already, but will likely have to make it three straight Sunday. Both teams are expected to advance to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A finals on Sunday.
Beaver Dam has a Thursday game left before postseason play begins, but already knows it will play the winner of Plymouth and West Bend East on Feb. 22. Since those two teams have combined for 16 wins, the long layoff shouldn't be an issue.
There are a lot of good teams in Texas, and even though Mansfield Timberview plays in the 5A bracket (6A is tops), games against teams like 21-win Grapevine are not to be taken lightly.
Maine West will begin postseason in the Lane Tech regional, which is part of the Evanston Sectional – and the winner of that (Feb. 21) moves on to the next level of the 4A playoff system.
While some teams are deep in postseason already, Northside must play out the regular season until Feb. 22. Only then will the real fun begin.
Mount Notre Dame will start section play Saturday – and winning those three games will give Mount Notre Dame a chance to take on other survivors of a very deep pool of strong Ohio teams.
Weather has pushed the long-anticipated and much-delayed matchup with St. John-Vianney back to Wednesday. With four losses, Christ the King does not have much margin for error.
Hamilton Heights handed then-ranked St. Joseph Central a 60-49 loss to cement its ranking. Tennessee's best will get a chance to improve its standing in the National Association of Christian Athletes championship, which will include No. 8 New Hope.
There's no doubt St. John-Vianney is a very good girls basketball team, but there are those in New Jersey who say Franklin is better. We'll know more after Wednesday's game with No. 15 Christ the King.
Tennessee's playoff system keeps teams local in the early rounds, so Riverdale will get to play Saturday and Monday against teams its already trounced. Regionals begin Feb. 22.
Cedar Hill has taken the first couple steps on the long, pothole-filled road to the Texas 6A championships. A flat tire at any moment would not be a surprise given the level of competition.
Aquinas of Wisconsin owned a 47-game winning streak until Hopkins showed up on the schedule. The 82-61 Hopkins win was impressive, but now Minnesota's best has to finish off a five-game-in-eight-day stretch culminating Saturday.
The Regionals begin Feb. 21, and it's a six-game path to the 6A state title, which will be decided March 9. Edmond North, which Putnam City West beat by three earlier this season, looks to be the biggest threat.
Southridge has four regular season games left, and only one of the opponents, Beaverton, has a winning record. Southridge already beat Beaverton by 17.
Archbishop Mitty jumps into the rankings thanks to an impressive 20-game winning streak that includes not only almost all of Northern California's top teams, but also a 90-48 pasting of Woodinville, one of Washington's best.
The Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association playoffs begin Saturday, but it would be a shock of seismic proportions should Germantown Academy find a way to lose.
After beating Salem 100-20, Princess Anne took the foot off the gas against Green Run, only winning by 65.