March to Madness 4A-7A

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With the FHSAA revising their playoffs format this coming season to involve Max Preps rankings, now is a good time to forecast what the regional playoffs would look like if the season were to have ended December 31, 2019.  Consider this exercise like that of the first “BCS Playoff Rankings” of the year.

For our purposes, it is assumed the highest-rated team in each district is the district winner.  From there, the top-rated teams in each region that did not win their district get pulled into the playoffs as the visiting team, regardless of whether it is a re-match of the district final.

We also included notes on each region based on the current FABC-Source Hoops Rankings and MaxPreps.

March to Madness: Class 4A

Region 1 #1 Seed Jacksonville Paxon hosts #8 seed Panama City Bay

Region 1 #2 Seed Tallahassee Godby hosts #7 seed Pensacola HS

Region 1 #3 Seed Panama City Rutherford hosts #6 seed Jacksonville Bishop Kenny

Region 1 #4 Seed Palatka hosts #5 seed Marianna

NOTES: A potent bracket featuring #2 Paxon, perennial playoff teams Godby and Rutherford and #10 Bishop Kenny.  Not only is the bracket potent, it is very evenly balanced in terms of Max Prep’s ratings.  This could be the most intriguing region regardless of classification.

Region 2 #1 Seed Orlando Lake Highland Prep hosts #8 seed Crystal River

Region 2 #2 Seed The Villages Charter hosts #7 seed Alachua Santa Fe

Region 2 #3 Seed Starke Bradford hosts #6 seed Brooksville Central

Region 2 #4 Seed Anclote hosts #5 seed Eustis

NOTES: Lake Highland Prep (#7), The Villages (#9) and Anclote (#10) are the state-ranked teams.  It should be noted at 12/31/19, Eustis had a higher rating than Anclote but would have to face them on the road as Lake Highland Prep has the higher rating in that district.  Given Lake Highland Prep’s youth and Anclote’s playoff inexperience, this may be a wide-open region.

Region 3 #1 Seed St. Petersburg Lakewood hosts #8 seed Titusville

Region 3 #2 Seed Titusville Astronaut hosts #7 seed St. Petersburg Gibbs

Region 3 #3 Seed Fort Pierce Lincoln Park would host #6 seed Cocoa HS

Region 3 #4 Seed Avon Park would host #5 seed Tampa Catholic

NOTES: Only Lakewood (#4) and Tampa Catholic (#6) are ranked in this region and should meet in the semi-finals.  That winner should be the region rep in Lakeland barring the biggest upset in the playoffs.

Region 4 #1 Seed University School would host #8 seed Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy

Region 4 #2 Seed Miami Gulliver Prep would host #7 seed Hialeah Mater Lakes

Region 4 #3 Seed Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest would host #6 seed Hallandale

Region 4 #4 Seed Miami Springs would host #5 seed Fort Lauderdale Stranahan

NOTES: U-School (#1), Pine Crest (#3), Stranahan (#5), and Gulliver Prep (#8) make up a fearsome foursome at this end of the bracket.  Should all four ranked teams or even Hallandale advance, it should set up some epic clashes in the semis and final.

 

March to Madness: Class 5A

Region 1 #1 Seed Tallahassee Rickards hosts #8 seed Ponte Vedra

Region 1 #2 Seed Jacksonville Lee would host #7 seed Jacksonville Westside

Region 1 #3 Seed Fort Walton Choctawhatchee hosts #6 seed Lynn Haven Mosley

Region 1 #4 Seed St. Augustine hosts #5 seed Orange Park

NOTES: Rickards (#1), Lee (#3) and Choctaw (#7) are the ranked teams in this part of the bracket.  A possible Duval County vs Leon County matchup would be reminiscent of the old days.

Region 2 #1 Seed Sebring hosts #8 seed Rockledge

Region 2 #2 Seed Leesburg hosts #7 seed Zephyrhills

Region 2 #3 Seed Land O’Lakes hosts #6 seed Spring Hill Springstead

Region 2 #4 Seed Melbourne Palm Bay hosts #5 seed Auburndale

NOTES: #7 Sebring (MaxPreps) and Auburndale (#10) are the only two teams currently in a top ten.  That being the case, Leesburg will likely get into the polls sooner rather than later and could become a favorite out of this region.

Region 3 #1 Seed Tampa Blake hosts #8 seed Naples Barron Collier

Region 3 #2 Seed Naples HS hosts #7 seed Cape Coral Mariner

Region 3 #3 Seed Clearwater HS would host #6 seed Clearwater Countryside

Region 3 #4 Seed Port Charlotte would host #5 seed Tampa Jesuit

NOTES: Only Blake (#8) and Clearwater (#9) are ranked in this region. Naples may be young, but they have some talent and it won’t surprise if they pull an upset or two.

Region 4 #1 Seed Oakland Park Northeast would host #8 seed Riviera Beach Suncoast

Region 4 #2 Seed Okeechobee would host #7 seed Plantation American Heritage

Region 4 #3 Seed Miami Belen Jesuit would host #6 seed Boyd Anderson

Region 4 #4 Seed Miami Norland would host #5 seed Pembroke Pines Charter

NOTES: OMG, is this a monster of a region! Northeast (#2), Pines Charter (#4), Belen Jesuit (#5), Okeechobee (#6) and Boyd Anderson #10) are all state ranked and on any given night, one could beat another.  If this bracket comes to pass, it will also be a good reason for the FHSAA change as Northeast, Pines Charter and Boyd Anderson are in the same district.

 

March to Madness: Class 6A

Region 1 #1 Seed Tallahassee Lincoln hosts #8 seed Tallahassee Chiles

Region 1 #2 Seed Catonment Tate would host #7 seed Gainesville HS

Region 1 #3 Seed Daytona Beach Mainland hosts #6 seed Ocala Forest

Region 1 #4 Seed Fleming Island would host #5 seed Lake City Columbia

NOTES: Not a lot of buzz here as only #7 Tate (MaxPreps) is considered a top ten team.  Also, there are a lot of district rematches and some “re-seeding” could be in the works.

Region 2 #1 Seed Bartow hosts #8 seed Orlando Edgewater

Region 2 #2 Seed Lakeland George Jenkins hosts #7 seed Lakeland Kathleen

Region 2 #3 Seed Melbourne hosts #6 seed Sebastian River

Region 2 #4 Seed Tampa Hillsborough hosts #5 seed Winter Haven

NOTES: Bartow (#2) and Winter Haven (#6 in Max Preps) are the only two ranked teams in this region.  Bartow, Edgewater, and Winter Haven all come from the same district.  Melbourne is a team to keep an eye on.

Region 3 #1 Seed Tarpon Springs East Lake hosts #8 seed Palmetto

Region 3 #2 Seed Punta Gorda Charlotte hosts #7 seed Pinellas Seminole

Region 3 #3 Seed St. Petersburg HS would host #6 seed Fort Myers HS

Region 3 #4 Seed Naples Palmetto Ridge would host #5 seed Land O’Lakes Sunlake

NOTES: East Lake (#3) and Charlotte (#9) are the powers in the region and seeded where we expected them to be at the beginning of the season.  Expect a run by Fort Myers regardless of their seeding once junior guard Javion McCollum returns from injury.  The Max Prep’s ratings for the “at-large” teams in this region are separated by just .3 of a point.

Region 4 #1 Seed Fort Lauderdale Dillard would host #8 seed Hialeah HS

Region 4 #2 Seed South Miami would host #7 seed Doral Academy

Region 4 #3 Seed North Miami would host #6 seed Hialeah Mater Academy

Region 4 #4 Seed Martin County would host #5 seed Fort Lauderdale HS

NOTES: Hope my cloning machine gets back from the shop before these games tip off!  #1 South Miami, #4 Dillard, #7 North Miami, #8 Fort Lauderdale, and #10 Martin County have half of the top ten teams in the classification vying to survive and advance to Lakeland.  These games are priority viewing every step of the way.

 

March to Madness: Class 7A

Region 1 #1 Seed Sanford Seminole hosts #8 seed Winter Garden West Orange

Region 1 #2 Seed Apopka would host #7 seed Orlando Evans

Region 1 #3 Seed Ponte Vedra Nease hosts #6 seed Ocoee

Region 1 #4 Seed Orlando Timber Creek would host #5 seed Orlando Dr. Phillips

NOTES: Seminole (#3) and Apopka (#9) are the favorites but you must keep an eye on the others who are more than capable of advancing.

Region 2 #1 Seed Orlando Oak Ridge hosts #8 seed Bradenton Lakewood Ranch

Region 2 #2 Seed Kissimmee Osceola would host #7 seed Tampa Sickles

Region 2 #3 Seed Tampa Wharton hosts #6 seed Orlando Boone

Region 2 #4 Seed Tampa Riverview hosts #5 seed Orlando Lake Nona

NOTES: Oakridge is the only consensus ranked team in this region while Max Preps is far higher on Wharton that we currently are.  Lots of “new blood” in this projected bracket with the likes of Riverview, Lake Nona, and Boone.  Should that Oak Ridge/Lakewood Ranch game come to fruition, that could be a very intriguing game.  Lakewood Ranch plays a style that drives Oak Ridge nuts.

Region 3 #1 Seed West Palm Beach Forest Hill hosts #8 seed Coral Springs Taravella

Region 3 #2 Seed Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer hosts #7 seed Palm Beach Lakes

Region 3 #3 Seed Deerfield Beach HS would host #6 seed Jupiter HS

Region 3 #4 Seed Lake Worth Park Vista would host #5 seed Wellington

NOTES: Forest Hill (#4) and Dwyer (#6) are “the big dawgs” here, with Deerfield Beach and Jupiter considered #10 in different polls.  Wellington has dominated this region the past few years and it wouldn’t surprise if they make it out alive once again.

Region 4 #1 Seed Miramar would host #8 seed Naples Gulf Coast

Region 4 #2 Seed Coral Gables would host #7 seed Davie Western

Region 4 #3 Seed Weston Cypress Bay would host #6 seed Miami Dr. Krop

Region 4 #4 Seed Miami Palmetto would host #5 seed Miami Coral Park

NOTES: Another loaded South Florida bracket! Miramar (#2), Coral Gables (#5) and Coral Park (#8), are deserving of their top ten status.  Miami Palmetto, Cypress Bay, and Dr. Krop have the capability of beating anyone at any time.  There should be several exciting and entertaining games in this regional playoff!