In a powerful statetment about basketball in Southern California, all 24 teams left in the Southern California Regional playoffs for boys and girls are from the Southern Section and will play for regional titles on Saturday at The Pyramid and Colony High.
How can that happen?
It's a tribute to the decision of the Southern Section to group teams based on competitive equity more than based on enrollment and also the third year in which the Open Division has existed, where the top 16 teams were pulled out of other divisions, then sent back into the state playoffs.
It's also the first year of a pilot program that allowed the Southern Section to place teams in state playoff divisions based on ability. The City Section, San Diego Section and Central Section did the same, but the Southern Section was particularly strong this season from top to bottom.
More evidence could come in Sacramento at the state championships if Southern California teams dominate in the Open, Division I, II and III, because those are the divisions where competitive equity was used to distribute teams in Southern California while most of Northern California continues to use enrollment as a key criteria.