- Posted: 12:56 AM, May 4, 2012
For the most part, I think the seeding committee did a solid job. But a few gaffes might make for more difficult second-round games than the top teams should have to endure.
Here’s a look at the seeding, followed by my analysis:
1. Academy of American Studies
2. Bronx Science
3. New Utrecht
6. Brooklyn Tech
7. McKee/Staten Island Tech
8. Hunter College HS
9. Susan Wagner
13. Richmond Hill
14. DeWitt Clinton
15. Long Island City
16. Thomas Jefferson
17. Francis Lewis
18. Boys & Girls
20. Grover Cleveland
21. Townsend Harris
22. Seward Park
25. Washington Irving
27. A.P. Randolph
30. John Adams
31. Norman Thomas
32. Environmental Studies
34. Van Arsdale
36. Manhattan Center
39. Math, Science & Engineering
40. Graphic Communication Arts
41. Transit Tech
Analysis: The top four is the same as mine, so of course I take no issue with that. The seeding committee thought Bryant should be No. 5, Brooklyn Tech No. 6 and McKee/Staten Island Tech No. 7. I had it Tech, MSIT, Bryant. But I can live with the way it is. Not a big deal.
Nos. 8, 9 and 10 – Hunter College HS, Susan Wagner and Midwood – are identical to mine. I like what the committee did with the entire top 10. It gets a little dicey when we move on to No. 11 and beyond, though.
FDR had a nice season and it advanced to the John F. Kennedy tournament final. But I don’t know many people who think the Cougars are the 11th-best team in the PSAL. Queens is the strongest borough and it would have been nice to see one of the second-place teams from there in that spot.
Somehow, though, Francis Lewis got No. 17 despite beating Cardozo and Townsend Harris got stuck with No. 21 although the Hawks beat Lewis and took a set from Bronx Science in a non-league match.
Worst of all, Newcomers is No. 19. I understand the Lions finished 6-4 in league play and lost to Aviation on Tuesday. But two of those losses came to No. 1 Academy of American Studies and the other two came when they didn’t have two of their best players. Plus, Newcomers beat New Utrecht in the Seward Park final Sunday. How many 19 seeds win tournaments by beating a No. 3 seed?
This is a bad precedent to set. Basically, the PSAL is discouraging teams from playing in tournaments. Why bother playing in a tourney when you can win the whole thing, knock off a top-three seed in the process and still be seeded after 18 other teams?
Yet somehow, Thomas Jefferson is No. 16. Did I miss something? Is this boys basketball? Is Bud Pollard coaching? I don’t seem to remember Jefferson doing anything in a tournament. But the Orange Wave are ahead of established programs who are active in tournaments like Grover Cleveland and Seward Park.
It’s great that the top 10 is solid. But when the rest is out of wack, it can really hurt the entire bracket. For instance, if Newcomers beats No. 14 DeWitt Clinton in the first round, it’ll meet New Utrecht again in the second round. Is that fair for the No. 3 seed to play Newcomers, a team that just beat knocked them off before the quarterfinals? Meanwhile, Academy of American Studies has Francis Lewis in its bracket and Bryant has Townsend Harris. Those will not be the typical easy victories for high seeds.
Expect a few upsets and a handful of unhappy coaches in the playoffs.