Thursday, March 8, 2018

State Tournament Expansion

By Michael Platzer

Class AA state quarterfinals were predictabley uncompetitive this year, which is again sparking discussion of a format change, namely expanding the state field of 8 to a field of 16 teams. Fans, coaches, sponsors, advertisers, and broadcasters all have legitimate arguements for change; not to mention increased revenues for the MSHSL.

The field expansion would likely be accomplished by advancing the two section finalists to the state field of sixteen. The section final would still be played, thereby retaining the prestige of winning these tournaments. The teams would then be reseeded based on a combination of section tournament placement and final state rankings. This would allow good teams from the sections stacked with elite teams to add even more excitement to the tournament, sections 2AA and 7AA come to mind this year--which go 5 deep with solid clubs.

Here is what the tournament field would have looked liked this year based on advancing the section semi-finalists to the big show--the rankings are speculative of course. Granted there would be some lopsided match-ups in the first round, by the quarterfinals the field would likely be more competitive than this year's field.

1. Edina
2. Minnetonka
3. Duluth East
4. St. Thomas Academy
5. Holy Family Catholic
6. Andover
7. Eastview
8. Wayzata
9. White Bear Lake
10. Centennial
11. Moorhead
12. Hill-Murray
13. St. Michael-Albertville
14. Lakeville North
15. Maple Grove
16. Lakeville South

With the already inherint difficulty of getting tickets for the semis and finals, how long will it be before March Madness is at The Bank?

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