Editorial: Seed the girls’ basketball teams in state tourneyPublished 9:35am Thursday, March 22, 2012
It’s time to plant some seeds at the girls’ state basketball tournament.
Presently, the Minnesota State High School League does not assign seeds to teams in the two smallest classes of the four classes of the girls’ state basketball tournament. That would be Class A and Class AA.
So when the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers made it to state with an undefeated record, ranked No. 2 in the state and having just beaten the eighth-ranked St. Peter Saints, the MSHSL system put them up against Braham, a team with a single loss, ranked No. 3 and the defending champ.
Without seeds, the MSHSL assigns sections to play each other at state before the season even begins, but this can result in weak sections playing weak sections and strong sections playing strong sections. That’s exactly what happened this year. Section 2 and Section 7 had some of the best teams, which produced the NRHEG-Braham matchup.
Fortunately for local sports fans, NRHEG blew out Braham and advanced, but anyone looking at the state brackets before the game had to be scratching their heads at the pairings.
NRHEG coach John Schultz said the brackets should spark a conversation among girls’ basketball coaches in Minnesota about asking the MSHSL to provide seeding for A and AA.
We agree that seeding is needed.
The argument against it has been that the teams from far-flung areas of our large state are hard to seed because of a lack of common opponents. However, MSHSL seeds the boys’ basketball teams now for A and AA. Any committee following the season, looking at records, looking at postseason performance, looking at the rankings and looking at the QRF (a formula) can assign seeds to four teams, then draw the other four at random, as MSHSL does for the boys.
Four teams. That’s all. Simple.
With more opponents to defeat, it’s harder for small schools to get to state. Seeding would produce a fairer lineup when they finally arrived. We hope coaches get on board and ask the MSHSL to make a change.