2023 GEICO Nationals Field Announced!

The field is set for 2023 GEICO Nationals, scheduled for March 30- April 1 in Ft. Myers, Fla. Seven of the eight teams are ranked in the FAB 50 National Rankings, including top seed and FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy, the two-time defending event champion. The championship game is set for April 1 at 12 pm ET (ESPN).

GEICO Nationals, the annual end-of-season tournament that has crowned a champion since the end of the 2008-09 season and its winner crowned FAB 50 national champ seven times, has unveiled its 2023 field.

Current FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy of Florida, two-time defending GEICO Nationals champs and the program that has captured GEICO Nationals a record six times, is the top seed and will face fellow National Intersholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) member and No. 14 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), the eighth seed (3/30, 6 pm ET, ESPNU).

There are two first-time entrants to the event, including No. 2 seed and FAB 50 No. 9 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.), which came in second in the NIBC standings this year at 10-2, one game in the standings behind Montverde. LuHi will take on No. 7 seed and FAB 50 No. 23 AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) at 4 pm ET (ESPNU).

Compass Prep tied for third in the NIBC standings at 8-4 with FAB 50 No. 19 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), which is the No. 6 seed and will take on No. 3 seed Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) in the first round at 2pm ET (EPSNU). Prolific Prep comes into the event 31-1 after last year’s appearance when it became the first No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed when it downed Sunrise Christian before falling in the semifinals.

The most intriguing matchup is No. 4 seed and FAB 50 No. 2 Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) taking on No. 5 seed and FAB 50 No. 17 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.) at 12 pm ET (ESPNU). Paul VI, which captured the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) D1 title and was runner-up in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) tournament, was at one point No. 1 in the FAB 50 during the regular season after going through WCAC regular season play unbeaten.

The Panthers are making an appearance in GEICO Nationals for the first time ever. The VISAA is not affiliated with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and is one of the reasons Paul VI wouldn’t be eligible for the second annual State Champions Invitational, which is set to take place this year April 6-8 in the DMV region for eligible programs that win state championships in NFHS-affiliated state governing bodies.

Link Academy has only one loss this season, a 84-58 loss to top seed Montverde Academy. Perhaps the margin of victory played a role in Link Academy’s No. 4 seed. Link Academy does own a win over Sunrise Christian Academy. Last year, Link Academy advanced to the championship game before falling to Montverde Academy.

The event has taken place 13 times expect for in 2019-20 because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and has had a major impact in who finishes No. 1 in the FAB 50 and the overall final rankings. This year’s event will be no different.

The semifinals are set for March 31 at 2:30 and 4:30 pm ET on ESPN2. The championship game is set for April 1 at 12 pm ET on ESPN.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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