March Madness, indeed

For the civil discussion of small school boys basketball.
Post Reply
User avatar
ging
Postaholic (100 posts)
Postaholic (100 posts)
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 7:30 pm
Location: Sterling, IL

March Madness, indeed

Post by ging » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:56 pm

March Madness is here again and boys’ basketball teams throughout the state of Illinois will begin regional tournament play on February 20th (Class 1A & 2A) and February 27th (Class 3A & 4A).

In some, but not all, parts of the state, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has divided teams into subsectionals. According to the IHSA terms and conditions for boys’ basketball, “a subsectional is a grouping of two geographic regionals”.

Teams within each subsectional are seeded by the participating teams’ coaches and “when grouping and seeding a subsectional, the top four seeds shall be separated”. Seeds #1 and #4 are assigned to the same regional, as are seeds #2 and #3. The remaining schools are assigned to the regionals based on geographic proximity and paired according to their seeds.

The intent of this seeding and assigning process is to keep the top seeds from playing each other early in the tournament. On the surface, that seems like a good idea. However, the unintended result is that many top-seeded teams throughout the state are forced to travel long distances to play in a “regional”.

The following are just a few of many examples from this year’s tournament:

-#1 seed Elgin Harvest Christian must travel 88 miles to play in the regional at Lena-Winslow High School. Some reward for having a good season and earning the top seed in the subsectional.

-#4 seed Schaumburg Christian will also be at the Lena-Winslow Regional, traveling 101 miles to get there…on a school night no less.

-#3 seed Orangeville will be playing in the Elgin Westminster Christian Regional, 87 miles east and a world away from their home in NW Illinois. For the record, Orangeville to Lena-Winslow HS is 16 miles (if you go the long way).

-#4 seed Winnebago will be at the Morrison Regional, 72 miles to the south.

-#3 seed Princeton must trek 80 miles to play in the Wilmington Regional even though Spring Valley Hall is hosting one just 16 miles away. There will be no celebratory stop at Rip’s in Ladd if the Tigers win the regional…the kitchen will be closed by the time they get back from Wilmington.

-#4 seed Pleasant Plains will have the not-so-pleasant experience of riding a bus 180 miles (round trip) to play in the Quincy Notre Dame Regional.

-#1 seed Sterling will be heading to Peoria Notre Dame for regional play, 76 miles down Route 40. Meanwhile, the Golden Warriors’ next-door neighbor Rock Falls High School will be hosting a regional just 10 minutes away…by bicycle. In 2016, the #4 seeded Golden Warriors were required to travel 70 miles to Dunlap for a regional game. Hey, great season guys…now go play far away so only the most dedicated fans will come to watch!

Speaking of 2016, last year I went with a friend from Polo High School to watch the #4 seeded Marcos play their regional opener…in Brimfield, a mere 99 miles south. That same night, #2 seed Annawan and #3 seed Kewanee Wethersfield had regional games in Forreston. If you’re not up to speed on geography in northern Illinois, Google Maps will help you see how silly that whole scenario was.

It doesn’t make much sense for teams to play well from November-February and earn a high seed only to be sent 90-plus minutes down the road to play in a regional. That doesn’t produce any advantage for the teams that are selected as the cream of the crop in their subsectional. In fact, some would argue that it creates a disadvantage.

What I suggest is that the IHSA allow the top-seeded teams in each subsectional to choose which of the two corresponding regionals they want to play in. The # 1 seed gets first choice, then #2, 3, and 4. The remaining teams would then be assigned based on proximity, unless that results in more than 6 teams ending up in a given regional. If that happened, the lowest seeded team(s) would be assigned to play in a distant regional. Reward winning. This plan would at least give the top seeds the option of choosing to play closer to home.

The other solution is to go back to true “regional” play. That never seemed to create as many travel issues as the current system has, unintended as they may be.
VCSOMB

User avatar
Bluejaygrad03
All Universe
All Universe
Posts: 11997
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:40 pm
Location: Petersburg
Contact:

Re: March Madness, indeed

Post by Bluejaygrad03 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:25 pm

ging, you also forgot about PORTA and Williamsville having to play a regional title game last year in Eureka rather than playing in a closer regional at Athens.

User avatar
Bluejaygrad03
All Universe
All Universe
Posts: 11997
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:40 pm
Location: Petersburg
Contact:

Re: March Madness, indeed

Post by Bluejaygrad03 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:44 pm

A few of the others from central Illinois that are affected by the subsectional seeding:

-Ridgeview having to make a 70 minute trip to Mt. Pulaski rather than a 30 minute trip to LeRoy for a regional
-Tremont and Illini Bluffs both being sent to PORTA for a regional rather than a closer one at Farmington
-On the reverse side of Plains traveling to QND that you brought up, how about Pittsfield and Warsaw potentially having to travel all the way to Riverton for a regional title game?

Leatherneck
Silver Poster (250 posts)
Silver Poster (250 posts)
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 10:41 am

Re: March Madness, indeed

Post by Leatherneck » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:18 am

ging wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:56 pm

Speaking of 2016, last year I went with a friend from Polo High School to watch the #4 seeded Marcos play their regional opener…in Brimfield, a mere 99 miles south. That same night, #2 seed Annawan and #3 seed Kewanee Wethersfield had regional games in Forreston. If you’re not up to speed on geography in northern Illinois, Google Maps will help you see how silly that whole scenario was.
Brimfield was the #1 seed in that subsectional last year. Now if you would have still had traditional regionals last season, there could have very easily been a loaded 1-2-3 regional at Brimfield with the hosts, Annawan, and Wethersfield, while Polo was the top seed at Forreston.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests