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Central Section boys’ basketball BRACKETOLOGY: Feb. 6


By Gabe Camarillo

In a word – madness.

When it comes to college basketball, “March Madness” is about the wild finishes, staggering upsets and one shining moment for every team.

The high school equivalent packs the same punch, but it also delivers madness in how the bracket is made.

The Central Section released the latest computer rankings on Monday. They average each team’s MaxPreps rating and strength of schedule:

The tiebreakers when teams are within three seeding places — Who won between the two squads head-to-head? Which team has the better record against common opponents? Lastly and most importantly for league foes, who holds the better league record?

Look at the Division I boys’ basketball bracket, for example. So many tiebreakers exist, but most of them cancel each other out. Two of the biggest examples:

San Joaquin Memorial

Clovis East


Memorial defeated Buchanan, which defeated Clovis East.

Clovis East defeated Central, which topped Centennial.

Centennial beat Edison, which bested San Joaquin Memorial once.

Last season, San Joaquin Memorial went 2-1 against Edison yet dropped one spot because Stockdale went 1-0 versus the same team. That has happened again. 

Wait, hold your horses! Ryan Tos informs 1430 ESPN that when tiebreakers contradict each other in a three-team tangle, then the Central Section will simply revert to the computer number. San Joaquin Memorial keeps the No. 5 seed.

Now, there’s this if Buchanan loses to Clovis East on Friday: Buchanan would lose the league standings tiebreaker over Clovis East, and the Timberwolves already beat Sanger, whom Buchanan lost to. 

Buchanan’s boosted strength of schedule as they face two Top 5 teams, Clovis North and Clovis East, could push them over Bakersfield Christian and Centennial. The margin between Buchanan and Centennial is 0.18 points. 

But without a tiebreaker over Centennial and BCHS, Buchanan would be seeded behind both if they lose Friday and don’t surmount that 0.18-point difference.

Clovis East with a win Friday, having the higher computer average, would be the No. 5 seed over San Joaquin Memorial because of the contradicting tiebreakers listed above. The only reason Clovis East currently sits behind SJM is Buchanan. The Bears have the tiebreaker over East right now (league standings), and San Joaquin Memorial beat the Bears head-to-head. 

Unless San Joaquin Memorial beats Bullard on Friday. That would give them two tiebreakers over Clovis East.

Keeping up? Let’s look at the next example:

Bakersfield Christian




Now we have four-team fun.

Central beat Centennial, which beat Bakersfield Christian. That is the only tiebreaker between the schools.

Sanger and Clovis beat Central head to head, so they should be above Central, except…

Bakersfield Christian beat Hoover, which beat Clovis. BCHS also defeated North, which beat Sanger. They hold the tiebreaker and seeding advantage over those two teams.

So guess what? It reverts to the computer numbers.

Does all that madness lead to this? 

Here are the full boys’ and girls’ basketball brackets in the latest edition of Central Section bracketology

Important last note: Tos said the CIF does not typically drop teams lower than three spots or raise them more than three.

* needs one more win to qualify

** needs two more wins to qualify


Division I boys:

16 Liberty-Bakersfield at 1 Clovis North

9 Bakersfield Christian at 8 Centennial

12 Sanger at 5 San Joaquin Memorial

13 Clovis at 4 Bullard

11 Arroyo Grande at 6 Buchanan

14 Edison at 3 St. Joseph

10 Central at 7 Clovis East

15 Frontier at 2 Clovis West


1. Clovis North

– beat Clovis West

2. Clovis West

3. St. Joseph 

4. Bullard

– beat San Joaquin Memorial and Clovis East

5. San Joaquin Memorial

– 1-0 against Buchanan 

6. Buchanan

– must be ahead of Clovis East due to league standings; if they lose Friday and tie in standings, they could fall behind Clovis East (Sanger tiebreaker) and Centennial

7. Clovis East

– Ranked higher than Centennial

8. Centennial

9. Bakersfield Christian

– holds tiebreakers over Sanger (North) and Clovis (Hoover), which would be seeded above Central for head-to-head reasons. Central would be ahead of Bakersfield Christian by virtue of its win over Centennial… but because the tiebreakers cancel out, they default to the computer ratings.

10. Central

11. Arroyo Grande

12. Sanger

13. Clovis

14. Edison 

– beat Sunnyside, which beat Liberty

15. Frontier 

– holds a better league record than Liberty

16. Liberty

The story of Division I is straightforward: The stranger things are, the simpler they get.


Division 2 boys:

16 Hanford West at 1 Dinuba

9 Independence at 8 Roosevelt

12 Kingsburg at 5 Selma

13 El Diamante at 4 Sunnyside

11 Garces at 6 Redwood

14 Ridgeview at 3 Hoover

10 San Luis Obispo at 7 Lemoore

15 Stockdale at 2 Mission Prep


1. Dinuba

2. Mission Prep*

3. Hoover 

–  holds a better league record than Sunnyside; technically holds tiebreaker over Liberty with win over Garces (Liberty 0-2 against Garces); but will CIF use that to push Patriots into D1? We don’t think so.

4. Sunnyside

– beat Selma

5. Selma

6. Redwood

– 2-0 against Lemoore 

7. Lemoore

8. Roosevelt

– 5-2 against Torres, Sunnyside, Kingsburg and Hoover)

9. Independence

– beat San Luis Obispo head-to-head; 2-2 against Torres, Sunnyside, Kingsburg, and Hoover)

10. San Luis Obispo

11. Garces

– split meetings with Ridgeview

12. Kingsburg

13. El Diamante

– tiebreakers cancel out with Hanford West = lost to Tulare Western, which Hanford West beat, and beat Mission Oak, which Hanford West lost to

14. Ridgeview

15. Stockdale

16. Hanford West


Division 3 boys:

16 Santa Ynez at 1 North

9 Sierra Pacific at 8 McLane

12 Tulare Union at 5 South

13 Madera at 4 Tulare Western

11 Atascadero at 6 Sierra

14 Porterville at 3 Central Valley Christian

10 Templeton at 7 Immanuel

15 Fresno at 2 Hanford


1. North (Bakersfield)

2. Hanford 

– 3-5 (.375) against Kingsburg, El D, CVC, Hanford West, Sierra Pacific and Redwood

3. Central Valley Christian

– beat Tulare Western

4. Tulare Western

– 2-4 (.333) against Kingsburg, El D, CVC, Hanford West, Sierra Pacific and Redwood

5. South (Bakersfield)

6. Sierra

– beat Kingsburg, which beat Immanuel

7. Immanuel 

8. McLane

– beat Sierra Pacific and Templeton

9. Sierra Pacific

10. Templeton 

– holds league standings tiebreaker over Atascadero

11. Atascadero

12. Tulare Union

– beat Fresno and Tulare Western, which beat Porterville

13. Madera

– beat Central Valley Christian, which defeated Porterville, and McLane, which beat Fresno

14. Porterville

– beat Fresno 

15. Fresno

16. Santa Ynez


Division 4 boys:

16 Nipomo at 1 Fresno Christian

9 Mission Oak at 8 Washington Union

12 Coalinga at 5 Torres

13 Golden West at 4 McFarland

11 Garza at 6 Corcoran

14 Taft at 3 Monache

10 Highland at 7 Kerman

15 Cabrillo at 2 Fowler


We have the straightforward tiebreaker – Monache beat Fowler straight up. Then we have another three-way conundrum.

Fowler beat Clovis, which beat McFarland

McFarland beat Corcoran and Coalinga, both of whom beat Monache

And Monache beat Fowler… 

So as we established, everything reverts to the computer rankings – although McFarland does jump Torres because of their record against shared common opponents.


1. Fresno Christian

2. Fowler

– 1-0 against Clovis (McFarland 0-1)

3. Monache

– beat Fowler but 0-2 against Corcoran and Coalinga

4. McFarland

– 3-2 vs. Corcoran, Taft, Fresno and Coalinga (2-0 against Corcoran and Coalinga)

5. Torres

–  2-3 vs. Corcoran, Taft, Fresno and Coalinga

6. Corcoran

1-0 against Sierra Pacific (Kerman 1-1)

7. Kerman

– beat Washington Union 

8. Washington Union*

– 2-0 against Reedley (Mission Oak 0-1)

9. Mission Oak

10. Highland

– beat Justin Garza

11. Justin Garza

12. Coalinga 

– beat Golden West; they also beat Justin Garza head to head, but will the CIF move Garza further than three spots from their original seed? Stay tuned.

13. Golden West

14. Taft

– beat Nipomo

15. Cabrillo

– 3-2 against Morro Bay, Lompoc, and Templeton (Nipomo 1-3)

16. Nipomo


Division 5 boys:

16 Caruthers at 1 Rosamond

9 Santa Maria at 8 West Bakersfield

12 California City at 5 Chavez

13 Bishop at 4 Delano

11 Reedley at 6 Sanger West

14 Firebaugh at 3 Chowchilla

10 Mira Monte at 7 Morro Bay

15 Tehachapi at 2 Mendota


1. Rosamond

2. Mendota

– beat Chowchilla

3. Chowchilla

4. Delano

– currently holds league tiebreaker over Chavez

5. Chavez

6. Sanger West

– beat Mendota, which beat Chowchilla. They don’t have the tiebreaker over Chowchilla because of their loss to Orange Cove. But if Mendota falls one spot lower, Sanger West could jump them.

7. Morro Bay

8. West (Bakersfield)

– beat Mira Monte

9. Santa Maria

– 1-1 against Pioneer Valley (Mira Monte 0-1)

10. Mira Monte

11. Reedley

12. California City

4-2 record vs. East Bakersfield, Rosamond, Kern Valley, Arvin

– holds league standings tiebreaker over Bishop Union

13. Bishop

14. Firebaugh

– 1-0 against East Bakersfield (Tehachapi 1-1)

15. Tehachapi*

– split meetings with West; rubber match Tuesday

– 2-2  record vs. East Bakersfield, Rosamond, Kern Valley, Arvin

16. Caruthers


Division 6 boys:

16 Riverdale Christian at 1 Kennedy

9 Orosi at 8 Orcutt Academy

12 Lone Pine at 5 Kings Christian

13 Arvin at 4 Desert

11 Orange Cove at 6 Strathmore

14 Avenal at 3 Summit Charter Academy

10 Granite Hills at 7 Mammoth

15 Riverdale at 2 Exeter

One more three-way tiebreaker that cancels out: 

Summit Charter Academy beat Exeter, which beat Strathmore, which beat… Summit Charter Academy. 

So once again, everything stays the same.

1. Kennedy **

2. Exeter

3. Summit Charter Academy

4. Desert

5. Kings Christian

– beat Strathmore

6. Strathmore

7. Mammoth

8. Orcutt Academy

– beat Granite Hills and Orosi

9. Orosi

– holds league standings tiebreaker over Orange Cove

10. Granite Hills

11. Orange Cove

12. Lone Pine

13. Arvin

– 1-0 against Riverdale Christian (Avenal 1-1)

14. Avenal

– beat Riverdale

15. Riverdale

16. Riverdale Christian

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