MHSAA makes seeding changes

IRON MOUNTAIN — Michigan boys and girls high school basketball teams will be seeded for district tournaments beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council met last week in Gaylord to act on committee proposals in a variety of sports.

Girls and boys basketball will employ a seeding process to place the top two teams in every district on opposite sides of that bracket, guaranteeing those two teams could not play each other before the district championship game. In the past, a random draw would determine the district schedule.

Iron Mountain boys basketball coach Bucky Johnson likes the decision and would like to see it taken a step farther.

“I think it is the right move,” said Johnson, who guided the Mountaineers to the Division 3 state finals this past season. “I really think they should seed through the regional tournament.

“I also think it will make for some real good district finals if the top-seeded teams make the finals.”

The two teams to be seeded in each district will be determined using a Michigan Power Ratings computer formula based on regular-season results against other MHSAA tournament-eligible teams and opponents’ strength of schedule. Games against out-of-state or non-MHSAA opponents will not count in the MPR formula.

The MHSAA will draw all brackets two weeks before the start of district play. After the top seeds are determined and separated to opposite sides of the bracket, the draw process will place the remaining teams on the bracket based on a randomly-selected order determined earlier in the season.

However, the draw process does not guarantee the seeded teams will receive byes or serve as home teams.

“Not knowing your opponent is like this past year finding out we played Ironwood first,” Johnson said. “This will make scouting for the districts a bit more challenging.

“I understand we will know who is in the districts, just not exactly who you play until two weeks prior unless you can make a determination by looking at the power ranking on a weekly basis.”

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