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Falcons, Eagles should soar in the postseason

PVL Pipeline
By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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There are thin pickings for fans who want to see a boys’ basketball playoff game tonight. Only three of the local teams, Colfax High, Del Oro and Forest Lake Christian, made it to the playoffs. Del Oro will trek down to Sacramento to play Del Campo High while the Falcons will, once again, host a first round game as they entertain Encina. Forest Lake is on the road at Vacaville Christian. Del Oro was awarded a No. 11 seed in the Division II playoffs, and Colfax earned a No. 3 seed in Division IV. Forest Lake is No. 13. However, as Paul Harvey used to state on his radio show, “And now for the rest of the story…” there is more than meets the eye with Colfax and Del Oro’s seeding. With an 18-9 record, Del Oro received an excellent draw. Much like the NCAA Tournament, who you play and what bracket you are placed in are as important as your seeding. Del Oro received an excellent seeding. As the number No. 11 seed, they will face No. 6 Del Campo. The Cougars sport a 20-7 record which is only slightly better than Del Oro’s overall record. Yet, the Golden Eagles battled in the tough, tough Sierra Foothill League while the Cougars played in a far easier league, the Capital Valley League. Research showed that over the last five years, the first round matchup between the No. 6 seed and the No. 11 seed is highly competitive. The average margin of victory for the higher seed was only six points, and in 2009 Woodcreek upset its higher seeded opponent. This column is predicting a first-round upset as the Golden Eagles bounce an overrated Del Campo out of the tournament. A Del Oro win would likely pit the boys from Loomis vs. Cordova in the second round. Up in the ponderosa pine forested and snow-covered campus of Colfax, the Falcons will entertain Encina. This is a game the Falcons should win. However, once again, research shows that first-round games between 3-seeds and a 14s are much closer than one would expect. With the exception of 2010, when No. 3 Modesto Christian won by a whopping 50 points, the average margin of victory for the higher seeded team has only been seven points. A Colfax win tonight would probably see the Falcons hosting Ripon Friday. The intriguing story surrounding the Falcons is how they managed to hold on to their 3 seed. Colfax stumbled a bit in the final week of league play. The Falcons lost to Center and then surprisingly lost to a far inferior Bear River team. Those two losses might have dropped Colfax to No. 4. However, the Sac-Joaquin Section reserves the right to tweak the final seedings as playoffs begin. By keeping Colfax at the No. 3 seed it sets up one more opportunity for the Falcons to face Modesto Christian in Arco Arena … oops… Power Balance Pavilion in the Division IV final next month. This would be the third meeting of the two schools in four years, and has become one of the best rivalries in the playoffs. Expect Del Oro and Colfax to be playing Friday. Dave Krizman’s column runs Wednesdays in the Journal. Comment online at AuburnJournal.com.