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Basketball committee discusses expanding state tournaments to include all teams

(Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com)

Might the state basketball tournaments in Class 5A and 4A expand? (Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com)

AURORA — The basketball committee is exploring an idea which would expand the Class 4A and 5A boys and girls state tournaments to include all teams.

The committee began to discuss postseason formats because of last month's changes to the classification structure which will even out teams in each class. They talked about keeping things as they are, but also about ways to change the format.

And during Wednesday's meeting, at least for 5A and 4A, the idea of a totally-inclusive state tournament was popular among committee members. The format would be loosely modeled on what 1A and 2A have already implemented via regionals, but would incorporate all schools in the classification.

"We had a great discussion on the postseason format," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann, who administers basketball. "We have a very good 5A format — and a very successful format — that has been in place for over 10 years. But 5A has never addressed what might happen if the selection committee were to go away. The basketball committee wanted to address that."

4A, meanwhile, "has struggled with a universally-accepted postseason format, and also needed to be addressed," Borgmann said. "As the committee started looking at a variety of ideas, the concept off a format that was inclusive of all schools began to take form."

The new CLOC structure calls for 66 teams in each classification in the 2016-18 two-year cycle. Those numbers may change slightly depending on things like play-ups, play-downs and enrollment changes among the membership.

But with that many teams, how to hold a state tournament?

The rough outline matches leagues into so-called "sectionals," where four sectionals comprise the bracket. How teams would be placed on the bracket is yet to be discussed.

The 5A and 4A brackets would eventually pair down to a final 16 teams which would then be true-seeded.

Currently, the idea is only targeting 5A and 4A, but may expand to 3A-1A depending on feedback from the membership. (Class 2A has scheduled a meeting in September to discuss postseason format.)

Much remains to be done. CHSAA will send out a survey to member schools to gauge interest. Basketball committee members will also reach out to their respective classifications to discuss the idea, other ideas, or simply keeping things as they are.

If there's enough to make a change, the committee will continue to work on the idea at its meeting in February 2016. From there, it would forward the idea in its report to the Legislative Council meeting in April.

If approved there, the new tournament structure would be implemented with the 2016-17 season.

New schools placed into alignment

Five new schools were placed into regions by the committee:

  • Beth Eden Baptist (Wheat Ridge) will play in 1A's District 8
  • Faith Baptist (Longmont) was placed in 1A's District 4
  • Likewise, Front Range Baptist (Fort Collins) will also be in 1A's District 4
  • Lotus School for Excellence (Aurora) will play in 2A's District 4
  • Atlas Prep (Colorado Springs) will play in the Confluence League of 3A