Playoff scenarios for Southern Arizona teams if season ended today:
— Salpointe (8-0) would be the No. 2 seed. The top eight rated teams 4A-6A advance to the Open Division state playoffs.[table “27” not found /]
— Tucson (3-6) is ranked No. 26. The top 16 after the removal of teams to the Open Division qualify for the 6A state playoffs. The Badgers play the last game of their season Friday at Trevor G. Browne in Phoenix.
— Four Southern Arizona teams are ranked high enough presently to make the 5A state playoffs after the removal of 5A powers Centennial, Horizon and Higley to the Open Division state playoffs. They are No. 10 Cienega (7-2), No. 11 Buena (7-2), No. 14 Ironwood Ridge (5-4) and No. 19 Mountain View (5-4). Cienega and Buena are in position to host a playoff game in the opening round. Unfortunately for Mountain View, the Mountain Lions actually dropped a spot in the rankings after beating Desert View last week for the 5A Sonoran title. Matt Johnson’s team would be the last team in the 5A state playoffs as a No. 16 seed if the season ended today. The Mountain Lions host No. 34 Flowing Wells (2-7) on Friday. A victory may not help their cause because of the Caballeros’ ranking.[table “28” not found /]
— The eight region champions automatically qualify as well as eight at-large teams based on rankings. The seeding of the tournament is based on the rankings. Salpointe (8-0) would be the No. 2 seed in the Open Division state playoffs. Scottsdale Saguaro is the only other 4A team in the Open Division at No. 3. CDO (8-1) is the No. 3-rated 4A team (behind Salpointe and Saguaro) and would be the top seed in the 4A state playoffs if the season ended today. Sahuaro (7-2) would be the No. 2 seed of the 4A bracket. The Cougars are ranked No. 4 in the 4A. The other Southern Arizona teams that would be among the top 16 seeds presently are No. 6 Walden Grove (8-1) and No. 14 Pueblo (7-2). Three of the four top-seeded teams in the 4A state playoffs would be from Southern Arizona — CDO, Sahuaro and Walden Grove. CDO must take care of business at No. 16 Casa Grande (5-4) on Friday to secure that top seed.[table “29” not found /]
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— The seven region champions automatically qualify as well as nine at-large teams based on rankings. The seeding of the tournament is based on the rankings. No. 8 Sabino (7-2) is the only 3A team from Southern Arizona that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today with No. 20 Pusch Ridge (4-5) four spots out. The Sabercats host No. 10 Safford for the 3A South title Friday. The winner will have a strong possibility of being a host in the opening round of the state playoffs.[table “30” not found /]
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— The seven region champions automatically qualify as well as nine at-large teams based on rankings. The seeding of the tournament is based on the rankings. No. 4 Santa Cruz Valley (7-2), No. 9 Benson (6-2), No. 10 Bisbee (6-2) and No. 16 Willcox (5-4) are in position to make the playoffs if the season ended today. Willcox, which has won three consecutive games and is presently the last qualifying team, plays at Benson in a likely do-or-die game for its playoff hopes Friday.[table “31” not found /]
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.