Serving as the unofficial national championship tournament for the last few years, the NHSI will move its games to the Mecca for next month’s showcase. And as more state athletic associations allow their teams to partake in the event, it’s on its way to becoming the official national title bracket. With seven of USA Today‘s top eight teams in this year’s field, including last year’s national champ Montverde Academy and runner-up Findlay Prep, an argument could be made that this year’s champ is likely to legitimately be the best in the nation.
More from USA Today:
Seven of the top eight teams in the Super 25 boys basketball rankings will compete in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament from April 3-5 in New York City. The event will be televised by ESPN networks.
The invited teams: No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy; No. 3 Rainier Beach (Seattle); No. 4 Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte); No. 5 Huntington-St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W.Va.); No. 6 La Lumiere, La Porte, Ind.; No. 7 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.); No. 8 Findlay College Prep, Henderson, Nev.; and No. 18 The Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.).
The event’s organizer, Rashid Ghazi of Paragon Marketing, said the panel that made the selections, based in part on the Super 25 rankings, had the toughest time with the last selection, where the decision came down to No. 9 Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) or No. 18 The Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.).
While OSNA had the higher ranking and could draw more fans, Sagemont was given the edge because it was one of only five unbeaten teams in the Super 25 rankings and a state champion. Plus, several other rankings had Sagemont ranked higher than Our Savior New American.
“The selection process became more difficult because of the quality of the field,” Ghazi said. “It’s the strongest field we’ve ever had for this tournament or any high school tournament I’ve been involved in.”
The event includes four girls teams: No. 10 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.); No. 18 Miami, Fla.; and unranked Fremont, Utah, and Edgewater (Orlando).