Bubble Watch: And then there were 2...
February 17, 2023
Kudos to Peter Spiessbach and the Bear Creek Bears. Redundancy be damned, but the boys from Lakewood roared through February like that bear from the Revenant that had its way with Leonard Dicaprio. The Bears emphatically sealed their spot in the tournament by beating Ralston Valley 48-46 with Emilek Jallow's clutch free throws in the closing seconds.
The Bears are likely to end up seeded 30 or 31 with a slight chance for #32. We're down to two spots for four teams at this point with Rangeview and Denver South controlling their own destiny on Saturday. Boulder will be waiting in the wings should either team lose, with Castle View needing a win, losses by the Raiders and Ravens, and even a little extra help to slip in.
So how it breaks down:
Denver South wins and they are in. The number 30 seed is the highest they'll climb, but it is pretty hard to see the Ravens falling out of the bracket. Their win over Vista Peak on Tuesday really boosted their MaxPreps numbers, so even though a loss to Denver North will drop them below Boulder in RPI, it almost assuredly won't in MaxPreps. Denver North will need to get revenge for a 56-44 loss to South in January.
Rangeview must win Saturday afternoon at Northfield to get into the field. A Raider loss would let Boulder into the field. It is truly a win and you are in scenario for the Raiders. Northfield has a lot to play for as well. The Nighthawks will host a first round playoff game with a win or head on the road in their opener with a loss. Box State Brackets in partnership with the Blackhawk sportsbooks have the Raiders a one-point favorite in their noon clash.
Boulder needs a Rangeview loss. Nothing else barring some wild results combined with a South loss will do. There are a couple mathematically wild scenarios where Castle View could hop the Panthers (Like Chaparral beating Rock Canyon type scenarios, but it is possible.
Castle View faces a really tough test with a Heritage team that gave much of the Continental League fits this year. The Sabercats are actually eight point underdogs in the matchup. Castle View will need to slip ahead of Boulder in the MaxPreps rankings. It might not be possible at this point, but Box State Brackets has yet to fully uncover MaxPreps' highly secretive proprietary formula, so we're not ruling out the boys from Castle Rock just yet. The Sabercats also need Rangeview to lose as well.