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It’s an annual source of speculation and belly achin’ around New Mexico, and it returns today.
The New Mexico Activities Association announces the selection and seeding for the upcoming state basketball playoffs. The selections will be announced at 6 p.m. on the NMAA’s website, nmact.org.
Los Alamos fans will be waiting anxiously to see where exactly the Hilltopper girls end up.
The Hilltopper girls aren’t locks to get into the playoffs, but it’s not likely they will get frozen out, either. The Hilltopers have been ranked in the 12-15 range in 4A most of the year and were No. 15 heading into the District 2-4A championship tournament.
Head coach Ann Stewart said after Thursday’s loss to the Española Valley Sundevils that she thought Los Alamos might end up with something in the neighborhood of a No. 14 seed based on its 2013-14 record.
Los Alamos finished 13-15 on the regular season, but, more importantly to the selection committee, was 6-11 against other 4A teams. Five of those losses came at the hands of Santa Fe and Española Valley, the Hilltoppers’ top two district opponents.
Santa Fe won the 2-4A tournament title, knocking off Española Valley 51-48 in overtime Friday night.
Both those teams are in line for high seeds in the tournament, the first round of which will be played Friday and Saturday.
The 16 teams in both the boys and girls 4A fields will be paired off and will play this coming weekend at the home of the higher seed. The venue switches to The Pit in Albuquerque March 12 for the teams that survive the first round.
Should Los Alamos land at that No. 14 spot, which seems likely heading into today’s selection meeting, it will be matched up with the No. 3 team. Currently, the No. 3-ranked team is St. Pius X, which topped Los Alamos by 24 points in January.
Los Alamos made a decent argument late in the season for inclusion. It won three games in a row, including a critical game last weekend in its regular season finale against Artesia, before getting knocked out of the 2-4A tournament by the Sundevils.
Looking at the potential field for the boys Class 4A tournament, Roswell is a virtual lock for the No. 1 seed. Los Lunas has been ranked No. 2 for a good portion of the year and St. Pius X is currently ranked No. 3.
St. Pius’ Sartans are the defending 4A champions.
Los Alamos’ boys managed just two wins on the season and aren’t likely to figure into today’s selection discussions.