Today was, by a mile, the craziest I’ve ever experienced in terms of the release of the NorCal brackets. Truth to told, this day is normally anti-climatic. We normally only type up the brackets and don’t even write a story, because everything usually goes pretty much according to plan. But we knew today was going to be different because of the Open Division.
UPDATE: The CIF has officially added Campo to the field in Div. III, replacing Miramonte.
Of course, there was no knowing how crazy today would turn out as a result of the situation with Campolindo. I must say I feel for North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon. He works very hard and also aims to do his best. I know this day has not been easy for him. After the brackets came out, I sent him an e-mail asking about Campolindo’s absense and then called him a short time later. It was while I was on the phone with him that the realization came through that a major error had been made. As he was going through his notes, it hit him that “This may be a colossal blunder on my part.”
Correcting the error, as it appears will happen, still isn’t easy. It likely involves removing Miramonte from the tournament. That’s not something the Matadors are taking too well and you can’t blame them.
Miramonte’s suggestion is intriguing, but probably unlikely. Outbracket games (which there are none of this year), were slated for Monday. Arranging a game for Monday, when an official decision on this won’t likely come until sometime Monday, seems impossible. Could they play Tuesday? Maybe. But I’m not sure CIF would allow that. The indications are that Campo will simply replace Miramonte. Tough break for the Mats undoubtedly, but they also were never supposed to be included in the tournament anyway.
But enough about that for now. Let’s talk Open Division.
Overall, no real complaints from me about how the boys went down. My gut told me I thought De La Salle would end up there, but I’m not surprised it didn’t. It would seem strange to send a team that didn’t even reach the finals to the Open Division, although their resume over the years certainly puts them in that class.
I’m a little surprised Serra ended up there, especially because it means that Division II lost three teams. That’s obviously great for Dublin, which is now the No. 1 seed and favorite to reach the state title game. Wouldn’t that be something for a program that’s never even won a NorCal game before?
The top four seeds went as I predicted: Salesian, Mitty, O’Dowd and Sheldon, so no surprises. I get why Serra was seeded that high once the decision was made to put them in. Overall, no real complaints with the boys Open.
But on to the girls. I don’t cover much girls basketball, so I won’t claim to be an expert. But this post from Cal-Hi Sports pretty well sums it up. The NorCal Open Division completely depleted the rest of its divisions. There are now no defending state champions in any other divisions and it’s probably going to set up for the North to get destroyed by the South. For Brookside Christian to be subjected to a rematch with O’Dowd, which already beat them by over 30, is ridiculous. To take Miramonte out of D-III, where it was a state title contender, is ridiculous. None of those Open teams are going to be a real threat to O’Dowd anyway, so why not leave a couple in their respective divisions. Plus, why is Miramonte seeded below a Mitty team it beat? Shaking my head there.
Overall, seven East Bay teams are top seeds. For the boys, it’s Salesian (Open), Deer Valley (Div. I), Dublin (Div. II) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (Div. V). For the girls, it’s O’Dowd (Open), Monte Vista (Div. I) and Salesian (Div. IV).
For a full look at the brackets, please visit the CIF web site.