If any team has a bone to pick with the state basketball seeding committee of the Colorado High School Activities Association, it’s Dakota Ridge.
Despite a 20-3 regular season record (9-1 in Jefferson County League play), the Eagles not only find themselves as a No. 2 seed in the girls’ 32-team state tournament, but they are seeded in the same side of the bracket as Regis, widely considered the second-best team in the state behind Highlands Ranch.
Why do the Eagles have a bone to pick?
One need look no further than Chaparral’s No. 1 seed to see why there’s some controversy.
The Eagles defeated Chaparral 74-71 in the regular season. In addition, Dakota Ridge finished with a better overall record (Chaparral was 19-4) and defeated more high-quality opponents than Chaparral.
Take a look:
Dakota Ridge scored wins over a No. 1 seed in Chaparral, two No. 2 seeds in
Cherry Creek and ThunderRidge, as well as defeating No. 4 seed Montbello and No. 6 Arapahoe.
Chaparral’s resume? They also defeated Arapahoe and ThunderRidge. They have no other victories against teams seeded in the top four in any side of the bracket.
In addition, Chaparral lost to Montbello, a team as stated above, the Eagles defeated.
Dakota Ridge’s three losses all were to No. 1 seeds: Regis, Broomfield (Class 4A) and Lakewood (by one point in the closing seconds). Chaparral also lost to Regis, as well as Highlands Ranch.
So, while not giving the Eagles a No. 1 seed could be justified in some ways by the Eagles not winning league (Lakewood, by virtue of the head-to-head victory won the tiebreaker and thus, earned the top seed out of Jeffco), what’s puzzling is why the Eagles weren’t paired with Chaparral in the bracket?
Instead Dakota Ridge now must likely go through Regis - a team that beat Dakota Ridge handily in the regular season - if they are to reach the University of Colorado, site of the Final Four.
Perhaps the slight in seeding will serve as extra motivation for a Dakota Ridge squad that certainly has the pieces in place to make a run into mid-March.