Basketball fans will want to “save the date” for March 13. While it’s still a month and change away, that date could play out more like a state championship than a District final in boy’s high school basketball.
Saline will host District 18 and what a lineup of talent the district will feature this season. Defending state champion Lincoln will be the team to beat when the tournament tips off on March 9. The Railsplitters feature Emoni Bates, one of the top high school prospects in the country.
But another “team to beat” will be Ann Arbor Huron. The River Rats are currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state.
Lincoln is 8-1 on the season and has a Michigan Power Rating (MPR) of .688, third best in the state in Division 1. Huron (9-0) has an MPR rating of .676, fourth best in the state. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s has the highest MPR at .699.
MPR is calculated using wins, losses and ties for games played between teams entered into the MHSAA tournament. Scores of games, margin of victory and location of games are not included in the MPR formula. The final MPR number is 25% of the team’s winning percentage, plus 50 percent of its opponent’s winning percentage, plus 25 percent of its opponent’s winning percentage.
The rest of District 18 features other quality programs including Pioneer, Belleville, Ypsilanti and Saline – there are no gimmies here.
On the Sunday 15 days before Districts start, seeds are determined. The schedule will then be set after that is determined. It’s a good bet that Lincoln or Huron will be the top two seeds sending them to different sides of the bracket and setting up a possible championship game for the ages.
Save the date.
Brighton will host District 17 that will feature Skyline and Dexter. The Eagles are 7-3 with a MPR of .632, 14th best in D-1. The young Dreadnaughts are 7-3 and have lost some close games to quality opponents.