Thursday, February 20, 2014

District 3-5A basketball: Tiebreakers, seedings and scenarios

It's been a tightly contested race in District 3-5A boys basketball all year, and with that there figures to be an interesting ending to the regular-season schedule on Friday.

First, for the easy scenario: Mayfield, with a 5-2 league record hosts 0-7 Oñate Friday night. If the Trojans win, they clinch the No. 1 seeding in next week's District 3-5A Tournament. No. 2 Las Cruces High - which hosts Carlsbad in a non-district contest Friday - will wait and see the outcome between Alamogordo at Gadsden, a contest between two teams with 4-3 District 3-5A records. An Alamogordo win would make the pecking order Mayfield No. 1, LCHS No. 2, Alamogordo No. 3, Gadsden No. 4 and Oñate No. 5. A Gadsden win, and the Panthers would be the No. 2 seed (via point-differential tiebreaker), LCHS No. 3, Alamogordo No. 4 and Oñate No. 5.

While that isn't necessarily easy navigation, it's clearer than the alternative - which would begin with a Mayfield loss on Friday to the Knights. Such would really shake things up in the District 3-5A race. Follow along:

A Trojans defeat to the Knights would automatically set up a three-way tie between three 5-3 teams - the Trojans, the Bulldawgs and the winner between Friday's Alamogordo at Gadsden game. All four teams split regular-season meetings with one another.

If such a scenario were to unfold and Gadsden were to beat Alamogordo, Mayfield would drop to a No. 3 seed in next week's district tournament, while Gadsden and Las Cruces High would play in a Monday game to determine the District 3-5A regular-season champion - on a neutral floor no less. Winner of that game gets a No. 1 seed in the District 3-5A Tournament, while loser would be granted a No. 2 seeding.

If a similar scenario - only with Alamogordo beating Gadsden instead - were to take place, Alamo would drop to a No. 3 seed in the district tournament, with the Trojans and Bulldawgs squaring off in the Monday "first-place game." Again, such a contest would have to take place on a neutral court, although don't think Oñate High School would necessarily be the location - the Lady Knights will be hosting a district tournament playoff game that evening, against No. 5 Alamogordo.

Of course, the Trojans can also just win on Friday. Which would eliminate such confusing hypotheticals.

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