So there will be no SAC Holiday Tournament this year. No days of crowds, packed or sparse, at Wayne High School. No DJ booth. No Tim Atkinson marathon of play-by-play on Summit City Sports. No Gary Raber. No always adequate hospitality room.
Let’s use the word “unfortunate” when talking about the event not taking place this season. For a variety of financial and Covid-laden reasons, the three-day, 18-game marathon is off. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it like it is happening, right?
So over the rest of the month, Bounce is here to dissect what could have been with a series of “what if” articles.
Kicking it off today, we talk about the seeding of the tournament. Last season, the SAC moved to seeding the Holiday Tournament with the Sagarin ratings. So what would the seeing look like based on the most recent Sagrain ratings?
Remember, all of this, including the dates, are simply theoretical.
Monday, December 28
BOYS: #8 North Side vs. #9 Wayne, 10:45 a.m.
BOYS: #7 Northrop vs. #10 South Side, 2:15 p.m.
BOYS: #4 Concordia Lutheran vs. #5 Bishop Luers, 5:45 p.m.
Tuesday, December 29
BOYS: #3 Snider vs. #6 Bishop Dwenger, 10:45 a.m.
BOYS: #1 Homestead vs. winner of North Side/Wayne, 2:15 p.m.
BOYS: #2 Carroll vs. Northrop/South Side, 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30
BOYS: Semifinal one, 12:30 p.m. (seeds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9)
BOYS: Semifinal two (seeds 2, 3, 6, 7, 10)
BOYS: Final, 8:15
Monday, December 28
GIRLS: #8 Bishop Dwenger vs. #9 Wayne, 9 a.m.
GIRLS: #7 Northrop vs. #10 North Side, 12:30 p.m.
GIRLS: #4 South Side vs. #5 Snider, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, December 29
GIRLS: #3 Concordia Lutheran vs. #6 Bishop Luers, 9 a.m.
GIRLS: #1 Carroll vs. Dwenger/Wayne winner, 12:30 p.m.
GIRLS: #2 Homestead vs. Northrop/North Side winner, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30
GIRLS: Semifinal one, 9 a.m. (seeds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9)
GIRLS: Semifinal two, 10:45 a.m. (seeds 2, 3, 6, 7, 10)
GIRLS: Final, 6:15 p.m.
BIGGEST WINNERS OF SEEDING
A really favorable matchup in the first round in terms of the experience would help the Panthers. Bishop Dwenger is a solid group again but Snider has had more time to get rolling. As the No. 3 seed, it is also a place where you need just one win to get to the semifinal.
The one spot is always the best spot. Why? The top two other teams have to face each other first. While Homestead has a lot of athleticism to face on its side of the bracket, avoiding Carroll and Snider until a possible final is ideal.
SOUTH SIDE GIRLS
This is a year you actually want to see Homestead on your side of the bracket. Right now, Carroll could be the biggest threat stylistically to the Archers. Keeping that team that can push the ball and thrive in a controlled chaos away from you is the key. With Carroll as the top seed, they are quite far away.
BIGGEST LOSERS OF SEEDING
NORTH SIDE AND WAYNE BOYS
Being hit with the 8 and 9 seeds mean that these teams first would have to get past each other before facing Homestead and then likely get defending conference champion Bishop Luers in a semifinal (if they get that far). There are four games to win for lower seeds and considering how much upside these two teams have shown so far this season, this is not an ideal spot for them.
Never not the top seed in a SAC Tournament, this format and some early season losses mean the Spartans would have a tougher road to the finals. South Side, Snider and Northrop all post unique challenges and the ability to score at a high level. This could be the toughest road any Homestead team has had to face in the SAC Tournament, including the one year it didn’t win it (2017).
AN ARGUMENT FOR COACH VOTING
Why should coaches still be voting for this? Spots 4-10 on the boys side are seeded incorrectly in Bounce’s opinion, which makes sense when you see there is an 11.5 point difference in the Sagarin Ratings between those teams.
On the girls side, with the possible exception of swapping South and Concordia or Snider and Bishop Luers, things are pretty accurate. Though you could also argue South as high as the No. 2 seed given how the start of the year has played out.
Like last year, there are some stark issues with the seeding by Sagarin and some areas where things are fine.
The biggest issue, to no surprise, is the boys side. This seeding, as it was last year, is based off the first Sagarin Ratings release of the year and the sample size is very small. Coaches know better. There is no way that South Side is the worst team in the conference. Concordia, at 2-2, should not be seeded No. 4 off wins over a bottom NE8 team in Bellmont and Bluffton, which Sagarin itself has lower than every single SAC team.
ADDING IN EXTRAS
This is the most theoretical of the “what ifs” but we at Outside the Huddle have been a big proponent for a long time of getting more bang for your buck at the SAC Holiday Tournament. With that said, the people want three-point and dunk contests. So while there is no actual format to base this on, we are going with it.
So here are our choices for participants in these events, with one player per school in each three-point contest.
Thank me later. Or….be sad that we won’t see this in addition to not seeing the 18-game tournament schedule.
GIRLS THREE-POINT CONTEST: Emily Parrett, Carroll; Maggie Keinsley, Homestead; Grace Hedtke, Concordia Lutheran; Olivia Smith, South Side; Destini Craig, Snider; Delaney Bailey, Bishop Luers; Amanda Thatcher, Northrop; Lexi Linder, Bishop Dwenger; Emilia Diaz, Wayne; Alivia Jones, North Side
BOYS THREE-POINT CONTEST: Fletcher Loyer, Homestead; Cody Burkey, Carroll; Karson Jenkins, Snider; Luke Speckhard, Concordia Lutheran; Naylon Thompson, Bishop Luers; Brenden Lytle, Bishop Dwenger; Jayden Schmenk, Northrop; Ryan Collins, North Side; Jernard Freeman, Wayne; Austin Jordan, South Side
GIRLS SLAM DUNK CONTEST: Ayanna Patterson, Homestead
BOYS SLAM DUNK CONTEST: Luke Goode, Homestead; Elijah Brown, Snider; Khamani Smith, Northrop; Nick Thompson, Bishop Luers
This series will continue the week of the SAC Tournament’s normal schedule as we break down how we see the tournament going, had it actually happened.
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