The inaugural eight-team City Section Open Division boys basketball playoff pairings were announced on Saturday, and let's just say there wasn't universal praise.
Fairfax (27-2), as expected, was awarded the No. 1 seed. But after that, things got a little dicey. Dorsey (22-5), the Coliseum League champion, was given the No. 2 seed ahead of No. 3 Westchester (19-11), which defeated Fairfax earlier this week and finished as co-Western League champions.
Narbonne was seeded No. 4, and defending champion El Camino Real, the West Valley League champion, dropped to No. 5 after suffering a 53-52 loss to Granada Hills on Friday. Gardena, which was set to play in Division II, was plucked out to be the No. 8 seed.
Next Saturday's opening schedule looks like this: No. 8 Gardena at No. 1 Fairfax; No. 5 El Camino Real at No. 4 Narbonne; No. 6 Crenshaw at No. 3 Westchester; No. 7 Taft at No. 2 Dorsey.
"I'm in total disbelief," was the reaction of Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani upon learning that Dorsey was put at No. 2 ahead of Westchester by a seeding committee made up of former coaches and administrators. "That's terrible."
City Section seedings through the years have produced the occasional, "OMG" moments. They used to be done by coaches directly involved in the playoffs. Then independent committees were set up to avoid conflicts of interest.
There's really no advantage anymore to being a No. 2 or No. 3 seed, because the semifinals will be played at a neutral site, Roybal, on Feb. 28. The championship game is March 7 at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
In the girls Open Division, Narbonne was seeded No. 1 and Palisades No. 2. The schedule for Friday: University at Narbonne; View Park at Granada Hills; Carson at Fairfax; El Camino Real at Palisades.
Palisades was seeded No. 1 in Division I boys, with King-Drew No. 2 in Division II.