NEW FAB 50: Giant Killers!

The competition is tougher as the weeks go by and this is the week where we have major change in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. The playoff stakes are high and six ranked teams saw their season come to an end last week, including three unbeaten clubs. Read on to see why previous No. 7 Richardson (Texas) is still FAB 50 ranked. The highest-rated team among seven newcomers is No. 25 McKinney (McKinney, Texas), the team that knocked Richardson out of the UIL Class 6A playoffs.

By Ronnie Flores


RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast  | Ballislife Podcast Network | How To Create A High School March Madness |  State Champions Invitational Announced   | History of High School Team RankingsAll-Time No. 1’s

There is an old coaching saying “pressure busts pipes” and the pressure is highest when state playoffs get into the deep rounds. It’s especially tough on favorites or teams working on a historic or unbeaten season. The pressure is also intense in states with the competition in traditionally the toughest.

In recent seasons, Texas’ University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A playoffs has been among the nation’s toughest to navigate. More than once, the highest-ranked or favorite has not cut down the nets at the UIL Final Four. Richardson (Richardson, Texas) was expected to be in San Antonio this weekend with the country eyeing a semifinal showdown with current FAB 50 No. 2 Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas).

The Eagles found themselves in a regional quarterfinal dogfight with McKinney (McKinney, Texas) and on its last possession the upset-minded Lions looked to score the go-ahead or winning basket. The Lions looked to junior Ja’Kobe Walter, but his contested jumper was blocked by Richardson’s Cason Wallace (Kentucky), but Walter instinctually tapped the ball upward towards his own basket after the block and miraculously teammate Alex Anamekwe (SMU) saw the flight of the ball, caught it in mid-air and banked it in to score the game-winning points with 1.3 seconds remaining.

After McKinney shocked the Eagles (and the nation) with its 54-52 regional quarterfinal win, the Lions went on to defeat North Crowley (Ft. Worth, Texas), 68-48, and Martin (Arlington, Texas), 58-36, to advance to the UIL Class 6A Final Four and jump into this week’s FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com as the highest newcomer at No. 25.

McKinney will take on No. 30 Westlake (Austin, Texas), another newcomer to this week’s FAB 50, in one semifinal on March 11 at 7 pm at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The other semifinal at 8:30 pm will pit FAB 50 No. 2 Duncanville (Texas) versus bubble club Atascocita (Humble, Texas).

As for previous No. 7 Richardson, it remains in the rankings this week at No. 32. The Eagles get rankings credit for their overtime win over Duncanville, but now must be behind the North Little Rock (Ark.) club it lost to during the regular season. Both Richardson and No. 33 Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas) have a loss to North Little Rock, which falls six spots this week to No. 19 to account for the Richardson result.

Richardson’s final ranking will heavily depend on what happens this weekend in San Antonio. From a rankings perspective, it will be rooting for McKinney to knock off Westlake in the semifinals and Duncanville in the championship game. An Atascocita victory over Duncanville in the semifinals will be a big upset.

McKinney does have a loss to Class 5A semifinalist and bubble club Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas), but its win over Richardson is enough to hop that club in the rankings. Mansfield Timberview has lost to both Richardson and Duncanville. The Class 5A semifinals will be played on Thursday March 10 and opposite Mansfield Timberview’s game, bubble clubs Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) and Kimball (Kimball, Texas) will meet in a rematch of last year’s Class 5A state title game. Both Beaumont United and Kimball have been FAB 50 ranked this season and the eventual Class 5A champion will crack the nation’s longest running weekly rankings.

Unfortunately for the three unbeaten clubs that tasted defeat last week, they don’t have strong enough resumes to remain among the 50 ranked teams. Previous No. 20 Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) fell in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Division II Class AA semifinals to unranked Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.), 63-55. Knoxville Catholic fell to No. 48 Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) in the title game, 79-72. Chandler Jackson (Florida State) had 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Purple Wave, which finished unbeaten and moved up 13 spots in this week’s rankings. The Purple Wave may not be done moving up, either, as an unbeaten state champion.

Previous No. 30 York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten when it lost to unranked Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.) in the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) Class AA title game, 56-53. Montravius White led the way with 18 points for the War Eagles, who captured their fourth Class AA title in the past five seasons.

Previous No. 24 Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) was looked at as a prime candidate for an invite to the first ever State Champions Invitational (April 7-9) provided it captured the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Hardwood Classic Class 3A state crown. In the state quarterfinals, however, the Bulldogs got tripped up by Auburn (Auburn, Wash.), as the Trojans were able to avenge their regular season loss to Garfield with a 64-60 overtime victory. Senior Dae’kwon Watson came up big versus Garfield with 22 points and 10 rebounds for Auburn, which went on to defeat Seattle Prep (Seattle), 45-34, in the semifinals and Rainier Beach (Seattle), 58-48, in the state title game. As a result, Auburn cracks the FAB 50 at No. 39.

Look for Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Class 4A champion and No. 9 Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to be invited to the end-of-the-season event for state champions. No. 23 Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Class 5A champ, will also be considered.

This weekend the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament will take place in Cumberland, Md., and it will have an affect on next week’s FAB 50 with four ranked teams among the eight-team field in the event’s 60th edition.

State champions will be crowned this week not only in Texas, but also in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina. It could be another week with upsets and FAB 50 movement, or perhaps the FAB 50 ranked teams will be able to withstand the pressure of playoff basketball.

RELATED:   “In The Paint” Podcast  | Ballislife Podcast Network | How To Create A High School March Madness |  State Champions Invitational Announced   | History of High School Team RankingsAll-Time No. 1’s

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(13th poll of 2021-22 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 6; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season complete)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)25-1
22Duncanville (Duncanville (Texas)32-1
33Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)19-4
44Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)30-1
55Centennial (Corona, Calif.)31-1
66IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)20-4
78La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)20-4
89Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)33-7
910Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)24-2
1011Camden (Camden, N.J.)27-2
1112Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)26-0
1214Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)24-2
1316Weddington (Matthews, N.C.)30-0
1415Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)25-0
1519Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)29-4
1623Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)26-4
1717Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)34-1
1821Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)29-1
1913North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)26-3
2025Bishop McNamara (Forrestville, Md.)21-4
2126Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)22-4**
2229Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)25-3
2331Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)22-4
2432Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)30-1***
25NRMcKinney (McKinney, Texas)34-5
2627Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)26-4**
2722Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)25-4***
2828Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)27-3
2933Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)24-3
30NRWestlake (Austin, Texas)38-1
3142Chesterton (Chesterton, Ind.)26-0
327Richardson (Richardson, Texas)32-2***
3334Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)32-4**
3438Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)31-5
3548Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.)28-0***
3639Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.)30-0
3740Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.)28-1
3837St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)33-6
39NRAuburn (Auburn, Wash.)27-2
4035Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.)33-2
4145King’s Fork (Suffolk, Va.)24-0
4243Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.)26-3
43NRNeumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)18-4
44NRColumbus (Miami, Fla.)29-2
45NRBerkmar (Lilburn, Ga.)26-4
4646Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)33-4***
4747George Rodgers Clark (Winchester, Ky.)31-1
48NRPark Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)26-1
4949Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.)19-1
5050Neenah (Neenah, Wis.)25-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 18 Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.), No. 20 Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.), No. 24 Garfield (Seattle, Wash.), No. 30 York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.), No. 36 North Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.), No. 41 Westfield (Houston, Texas), No. 44 Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.).

Bubble Teams:  American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 16-12***; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 34-6; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 34-3; Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) 23-2; Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) 29-1***; Bristol Central (Bristol, Conn.) 20-0; Brophy Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) 25-3***; Carver Collegiate Academy (New Orleans, La.) 31-5; Chambers (Charlotte. N.C.) 22-7***; Christian Brother’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 23-6; Columbia Heights (Columbia Heights, Minn.) 22-0; Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 22-5; Curtis (University Place, Wash.) 27-3; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 30-4; Del City (Cel City, Okla.) 22-3; DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 18-7; Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) 26-6***; Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.) 20-6***; Eagle Academy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 18-5; Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 24-1; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 25-1***; Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.) 19-6; Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 18-9; Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.) 23-4***; John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 20-4; Kimball (Kimball, Texas) 30-8; King (Detroit, Mich.) 17-2; Kingfisher (Kingsfisher, Okla.) 25-1; Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 28-4***; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 29-0; Laurel Highlands (Uniontown, Pa.) 25-0; Liberty (Liberty, Mo.) 24-3; Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 18-5; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 28-6; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 26-0; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 35-4; Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.) 24-1; Milton (Milton, Ga.) 22-8***; Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wash.) 25-1***; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 18-0; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 24-6***; New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.) 30-4***; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 26-6; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 27-5***; Northview (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 19-1; Panther Creek (Cary, N.C.) 23-7; North Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 24-1; Patriot (Nokesville, Va.) 26-0; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 28-3***; Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 25-5; Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 22-2; Quaker Valley (Leetsdale, Pa.) 23-0; Raymond (Raymond, Miss.) 29-5***; Reading (Reading, Pa.) 25-3; Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 19-4; Simeon (Chicago) 27-5; South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 21-3**; South St. Paul (South St. Paul, Minn.) 25-0; Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) 25-4; St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) 22-3; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 16-4; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 22-4; St. Thomas Aquinas (Edison, N.J.) 27-1; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 21-4; The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 30-7; The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 25-8***; Tualatin (Tualatin, Ore.) 23-2; Varina (Richmond, Va.) 23-1; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 14-10; West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 20-4***; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 24-9**; Williamston (Williamston, Mich.) 20-0; Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.) 24-2; York Prep (Rock Hill, S.C.) 27-1***; Zachary (Zachary, La.) 34-3.

Note: The FAB 50 powered by Ballislife.com is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota compiled them. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 22 years ago.

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

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