The Dick’s Nationals field is set and we break down how it could affect the final 2016-17 edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com in two weeks. In addition to state champions from Arizona and North Carolina and the six independents in the event, teams from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Jersey, California, Ohio, Michigan, and the basketball-crazed states of New York and Indiana are still going in their quest for state titles.
By Ronnie Flores
There are five new teams in the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com, but the big news from the past week is how this year’s Dick’s Sporting Good National High School Tournament (March 30-April 1, Christ the King of Middle Village, N.Y.) will affect the final rankings set for April 3.
The quarterfinal Dick’s Nationals matchups are as follows: FAB 50 No. 2 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), the top seed, will open with bubble club Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah), the No. 8 seed on March 30 (ESPNU, 6 pm ET). The winner of that game will take on the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game between FAB 50 No. 11 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and No. 12 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) at 2 pm ET (ESPNU). In the opposite bracket, it will be FAB 50 No. 6 IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.), the No. 2 seed, versus No. 22 Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.), the No. 7 seed (ESPNU, 4 pm ET). In the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game, it’s FAB 50 No. 5 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) vs. No. 14 Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) at 12 pm ET (ESPNU).
It’s a strong field, but obviously there is a shadow looming with FAB 50 No. 1 Nathan Hale (Seattle) opting not to play in the event despite clearance from the WIAA. Let’s quickly break down the field and the FAB 50 scenarios depending on which team wins three games to take the tournament title.
*If La Lumiere wins, it would be nearly impossible to dislodge Hale from the top spot. La Lumiere lost to No. 38 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), a team Hale defeated by two points when it was a consensus top five-ranked team.
*If IMG Academy wins, it would have a strong case for No. 1. The Ascenders defeated 10 teams who are currently or were previously FAB 50 ranked, including two wins over No. 10 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.). It will also have avenged its only loss (of sorts) to Montverde Academy, since the Eagles are on IMG’s side of the bracket.
*If Montverde Academy wins, it would be similar to IMG Academy in that it already has defeated ten currently or formerly ranked FAB 50 teams, including a head-to-head over IMG Academy. Montverde, however, has lost two of three games to No. 2 Memphis East and also lost to No. 4 Imhotep Charter. The latter will have the stronger case provided it wins a state title because Memphis East has also lost to the Sierra Canyon team Hale defeated.
*If Findlay Prep wins, Hale’s win over Sierra Canyon agains comes into play. The Pilots lost to Sierra Canyon, 76-47.
*If Oak Hill Academy wins, Hale is even more of a slam dunk No. 1 team. Hale defeated the Warriors head-to-head at the Hoophall Classic.
*If Shadow Mountain wins, it will have a strong case for No. 1 as an unbeaten state champ that just won a tournament field with seven FAB 50 ranked teams.
*If Greensboro Day wins, Memphis East would be happy because unranked Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) not only beat the nation’s No. 3 ranked team, it also defeated coach Freddy Johnson’s club and that loss wouldn’t look bad at all. The Bengals’ entire resume would have to be compared to Hale’s.
*If Wasatch Academy wins, the rankings would be shaken up because that team is currently unranked. Wasatch would in essense avenge losses to Findlay Prep and IMG Academy, but it also lost to No. 19 Chino Hills and unranked Windward (Los Angeles) during the regular season.
Speaking of Patrick School, it takes on the highest-ranked newcomer in the FAB 50, No. 29 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), on Monday night in the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title game. The Ironmen defeated No. 41 Linden (Linden, N.J.) in the TOC semifinals, 65-58, behind 23 points and 14 rebounds from Grid-Hoop stud Marcellus Earlington.
The Patrick School has lost to IMG Academy twice, to Memphis East and split games with Linden, while one-loss Don Bosco Prep has beaten Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) two out of three times.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(Fourteenth poll of 2016-17 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, March 19; Previous ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; ***Indicates season not complete)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Nathan Hale (Seattle, Wash.)||29-0|
|2||2||La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)||25-1***|
|3||3||Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)||33-3|
|4||4||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||29-1*|
|5||5||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||24-4***|
|6||6||IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.)||26-1***|
|7||7||Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)||30-2***|
|8||8||Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.)||32-0|
|9||9||Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||27-0***|
|10||11||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||28-4***|
|11||12||Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)||32-3***|
|12||13||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||38-4***|
|13||10||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||33-3|
|14||15||Shadow Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.)||27-0***|
|15||16||Brentwood Academy (Nashville, Tenn.)||30-2|
|16||17||Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.)||29-0***|
|17||18||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||32-5|
|18||19||Grand Rapids Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.)||25-0***|
|19||14||Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.)||30-3|
|20||20||Tift County (Tifton, Ga.)||29-2|
|21||21||Cypress Falls (Houston, Texas)||35-3|
|22||22||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||33-3***|
|23||23||Skyline (Dallas, Texas)||34-2|
|24||28||Jefferson (Portland, Ore.)||27-1|
|25||25||Norcross (Norcross, Ga.)||26-6|
|26||26||Greenforest Christian Academy (Decatur, Ga.)||27-5|
|27||27||Mae Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.)||33-4|
|28||34||Webster Groves (Webster Groves, Mo.)||29-2|
|29||NR||Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)||30-1***|
|30||30||The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.)||31-0|
|31||32||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||18-3|
|32||33||Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.)||30-3|
|33||40||Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)||27-3***|
|34||35||Trinity Episcopal (Richmond, Va.)||35-1|
|35||41||Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.)||24-1***|
|36||45||Woodcreek (Roseville, Calif.)||32-2***|
|37||42||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||22-3***|
|38||NR||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||27-3|
|39||39||Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)||28-5|
|40||43||Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.)||27-3|
|41||37||Linden (Linden, N.J.)||26-5|
|42||47||McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)||29-1|
|43||44||Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)||27-2|
|44||NR||Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.)||27-6*|
|45||49||Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.)||27-3*|
|46||NR||North Side (Ft. Wayne, Ind.)||27-2***|
|47||36||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||30-4|
|48||48||Meridian (Meridian, Miss.)||30-2|
|49||50||Basha (Chandler, Ariz.)||30-1|
|50||NR||Rindge & Latin (Cambridge, Mass.)||24-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 24 Edwardsville (Edwardsville, Ill.), No. 29 East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.), No. 31 Fern Creek (Louisville, Ky.), No. 38 St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.), No. 46 Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.).
Bubble Teams: Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.) 27-2***; Basha (Chandler, Ariz.) 30-1; Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) 23-5***; Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) 24-3; Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 22-9; Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 22-3; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 21-3; Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) 30-2; Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ky.) 36-2; Butler (Matthews, N.C.) 30-1; Clark (Las Vegas, Nev.) 27-5; Cooper (Burlington, Ky.) 34-5; Corona Del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 26-4; DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 25-10; Edwardsville (Edwardsville, Ill.) 30-2; Evanston (Evanston, Ill.) 28-4; Fern Creek (Louisville, Ky.) 35-3; First Love Christian Academy (Washington, Pa.) 24-3; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 21-6; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 31-7; Keller (Keller, Texas) 33-3; Kentwood (Covington, Wash.) 27-3; Klein Forest (Houston, Texas) 34-1; L.C. Bird (Chesterfield, Va.) 27-1; Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 23-5; Mansfield Timberview (Arlington, Texas) 32-7; Maple Grove (Maple Grove, Minn.) 27-2***; Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.) 26-6; Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 35-4; Mt. Vernon (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.) 23-4***; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 23-1; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 22-7***; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 28-2; North (Oshkosh, Wis.) 25-1; Oak Ridge (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) 31-3; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 21-8; Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 26-2***; Rock Creek Christian (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 28-4; Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 18-11; Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 31-4; Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 30-4; Southwest Guilford (High Point, N.C.) 28-3; St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) 28-5; Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 23-7; Union (Tulsa, Okla.) 28-1; Wagner (San Antonio, Texas) 36-3; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 24-4***; Wesley Christian (Allen, Ky.) 33-9; West (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) 25-3; Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) 18-11; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 21-9; Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 21-1.
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 17 years ago.