Big Game Thursday

In less than two weeks the playoff teams will be seeded and selected. The 16 playoff teams will include seven league champions who earn automatic bids and nine at-large qualifiers selected by a combination of factors, including the coaches poll (see this article for more details).  In summary, the teams that do not win a league championship are fighting for nine at-large spots.  When you consider the Top three teams Corona del Mar, Foothill, and St. Margaret’s are in the at-large pool because they are independents, and pretty good bets to earn playoff berths, we are now down to six open spots.  That leaves for a lot of drama in the final week and a half.  With that said, there are big games almost every day from now until the season ends. Here is a look at today’s big games.

No. 14 Servite vs No. 19 Mater Dei

Mater Dei hosts the Friars tonight at 7:00 pm in what could be a make or break game for both teams. No. 14 Servite is currently positioned for an at-large playoff position, but with three games left on their schedule (Mater Dei tonight, CdM and JSerra next week) things could change for the better or worse. A strong finish could be enough to move them up a position or two.  A loss tonight could send them tumbling in the other direction.  Would season-ending wins against Servite tonight and No. 7 Tesoro next week be enough to move the Monarchs up to a playoff spot?  There’s only way to find out.

No. 5 Great Oak vs No. 12 JSerra

Great Oak will hosts JSerra tonight at 7:30.  The Lions have lost five of their last six games and after tonights game finish with No. 4 Santa Margarita, Loyola (No. 2 in Los Angeles), and No. 14 Servite.  A challenging finish that offers many up-side and down-side opportunities.

Great Oak will represent the Southwestern Conference in the playoffs. Their spot in the playoffs is secure, their seeding is not. San Clemente and Tesoro are nipping like a pack of wolves at the Wolfpack’s heels.  A loss tonight to a lower ranked opponent could cost them the no. 5 ranking.