Just some questions going into the three consecutive weeks of prep basketball playoffs. Of course, some of the answers have to do with money, scheduling, money, logistics, money, extensive travel, more money and arena availability. And did we mention money?
But the questions should be asked just the same.- Why do the two major tournaments - the 4A and 3A - go head-to-head each year?
Once again, the 3A and 4A tournaments are scheduled for the same week, causing the media to divide time, space and personnel between the two and the fans in the areas with both 3A and 4A schools to choose which games to attend.
Why not give the 3A and the 4A each their own, separate week? Another possibility would be to double up one of the two smaller classifications with the 3A or 4A. Or give 3A and 4A each a week of their own and double up 1A and 2A in the same week.
- Why not allow tournament teams a bit of practice time on the playoff-site court?
Much has been said about the unfair advantage gained by teams like Provo, Timpview and Spanish Fork, who play an occasional regular-season game at BYU's Marriott Center, where the 3A tournament is to be played. The opinion here is that the advantages (increased revenues, a highlighted setting, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, more seating) outweigh the disadvantages (familiarity with the court and surroundings).
Rather than forbid high school teams the chance of playing regular-season games on college courts, why not arrange pre-playoff court time for the teams to get a feel for the "hallowed" hardwood of the championship site.
Opening games for both the 4A and 2A are scheduled in the afternoon, so why not open up the court in the morning for some team walk-throughs or shoot-arounds? Nothing strenuous or intense - just a chance for players and court to get better acquainted. And why not invite the 1A and 3A teams - those classifications have their 16-team tournaments squeezed into a four-day event - to come a day early for the same purpose?
- Why does the 4A tournament merit a six-day schedule, while the 3A playoffs have only a four-day format?
Remember, the first two rounds of the 3A playoffs open with 10 a.m. games and conclude with 9 p.m. tipoffs in the day's finales - that's if everything is going as scheduled. Other than your local church league, who deserves to play basketball at 10 a.m.? And a four-day tournament tends to work against a pressure-oriented, full-court team.
- Didn't the Highland-Woods Cross playoff seem a little silly last week, especially since both were guaranteed postseason action?
At stake was an automatic berth to the 4A playoffs, while the loser had to go through the inter-region playoff route and face Alta two days later.
Woods Cross became a two-time loser, dropping not only the preliminary playoff with Highland, but also having to play a third game (vs. Alta) in four nights. The Wildcats lost Friday night - could fatigue have been a factor? A coin flip could have kept both teams one game fresher.
- Why won't the Nos. 1 and 2 teams meet in either the 4A or 3A championship games?
Blame it on the quirks of annually rotating brackets, but in both the 4A and 3A playoffs, the two top-ranked teams in both tournaments can meet only in the semifinals. In other words, the pairings have Bingham and Bonneville placed in the same 4A upper bracket, while Provo and Judge Memorial are together in the 3A's lower bracket.