Girls basketball playoff format unfair

By Dylan Bergeon
staff writer

Upon arrival to the girls’ basketball game on March 1 at Heritage High School, one would have noticed the tense feeling that the teams brought that day. The third in the state ranked Midland Dow Chargers were facing the fifth in the state ranked Midland High Chemics in the first round of the playoffs. The warm up music starts and the star players from both teams take the court, including DHS’s third place “Miss Basketball” finalist, Becca Mills. Among the opposing team are multiple college athletes.

The talent from both teams showed as DHS lost a close game with MHS by a score of 33-32.

Moving on from the fundamentals, scores, wins and losses, there seems to be a fundamental problem with the way that the teams are set up for the playoffs in basketball. This year, MHS made it to the state quarterfinals and DHS was out in the first round of the playoffs, where they played MHS.

The argument is that DHS should not have played such a high ranked team so early in the playoffs, primarily because of how they played during the regular season. DHS, finishing 19-2 overall, won the Saginaw Valley League title. MHS came in second with an 18-3 record. So with the two highest rankings in the valley, why should the teams have to face each other in the first game of the playoffs?

Thinking about the dilemma from a different perspective, March Madness is here and most people are avidly consumed with the “Bracket system.” In the way that the girls’ basketball is set up this season, it would make for a three seed team and a five seed team playing in the preliminary round of the tournament.

The point of the argument is that if a team works so hard in the regular season, and gets no reward for it, why try? A team that has a great regular season should be rewarded and granted a bye in a round of the playoffs, or possibly a game against a weaker opponent. Two powerhouses playing together in the first rounds attract fewer fans and less money, so have them meet when it counts, in the championship game.

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