Boys basketball bubble watch
It’s the last week of the regular season for boys basketball. Twenty-four teams make the state tournaments, with each sectional semifinalist securing an automatic bid, joined by 12 at-large teams with the highest power point rankings. Here is a look at the teams closest to the bubble as the regular season comes to a close.
Division I boys
Highland (21): The Hawks are 10-5 in power point contests and have games against Red Mountain, Brophy and Basha remaining. Highland is certainly a playoff-caliber team but power point losses to Basha and Mesquite have made this a tense final week.
Desert Vista (24): The Thunder is 10-7 in power point games, although the team’s most recent win against Maricopa hasn’t been calculated, which should give it a small boost. Desert Vista ends the season with a huge showdown against Mountain Pointe. It is unlikely to make the sectional tournament, so the finale may be a must-win.
Perry (29): The Pumas have a solid 10-6 power point record, but will need a great finish to have a shot at the postseason. Perry has lost four power point games by four points or less and plays Desert Ridge and Hamilton to close out the regular season. A sweep is essential.
Mesquite (30): The Wildcats are only 6-10 in power point games, but Division I’s third-toughest strength of schedule has them with an outside chance of making the playoffs. Mesquite has a pair of winnable games against Basha and Desert Ridge to close out the regular season, so it needs to take care of business in those and then hope for the best.
Tempe (18): The Buffaloes are 12-4 and seem to be in good position to qualify for the postseason. A split against Apache Junction and Notre Dame this week would likely be enough.
Queen Creek (21): The Bulldogs have an 11-3 power points record but four games left to play this week. If Queen Creek can win three it should be in good shape.
Combs (22): It’s going to be an interesting finish for the Coyotes. They will be underdogs in two of their final three games – against Poston Butte and Queen Creek – so their margin is razor thin. An upset of either of those teams would greatly help Combs.
Tempe Prep (23): The Knights are 9-7 overall but a weak strength of schedule has them right on the bubble. The regular season finale against Arizona Lutheran is going to be tough, so a win over Salt River on Tuesday is essential.