Tonight, the City Section playoffs start but no surprise, there's a bit of controversy over where certain teams were seeded.
The coveted No. 4 seed – assumed to be given to Crenshaw, the Coliseum League champions – went to Cleveland, who finished second in league but had a tough non-conference schedule. Crenshaw slid down to No. 6.
Just for comparison's sake, Crenshaw went 3-1 against Fremont and Dorsey – the No. 8 and 10 seeds, respectively – while Cleveland lost twice to Taft, split their meetings with No. 5 Sylmar and barely beat No.12 seed Birmingham 81-80 in their final meeting.
Cleveland did beat Pasadena, the No. 6 seed in the Div I-A playoffs, as well as Fremont earlier this year. You be the judge. Oh, and let's also throw in that Cleveland opens on the road at No. 13 Van Nuys, who won their league.
In the mind of this reporter, it doesn't make much sense except that it puts a lot of pressure on Cleveland to justify their ranking as well as Crenshaw to prove why they should have been seeded higher.
The Cougars will face a familiar foe in L.A. Jordan – their third playoff meeting in four years and a follow-up to their football matchup in November. In keeping with the football theme, the Bulldogs are paced by the City Section Player of the Year James Boyd, who's extended his dominance from the field to the hardwood (23.7 ppg, 22.4 rebs)
Should the Cougars win, they'll be in for a fight against No. 3 Taft, the defending City champions, in the second round.
Fremont hosts Palisades in a rematch of last year's second-round game. Should they win, it could set up an interesting second-round game on Tuesday with Westchester. Both teams are aggressive on defense but the key will be if Fremont can slow down the Comets' loaded backcourt.
Fairfax should cruise into the semifinals after facing West Adams tonight and either Washington or Dorsey on Tuesday.
Final Four Predictions: Westchester, Fairfax, Taft and Sylmar. Start making plans to see them on Feb. 28 at the Galen Center at USC…
Looking at the City girls' bracket, Washington got the No. 3 seed and will open at home against Birmingham Friday night.
It's hard not to look ahead to a possible semifinals rematch with No. 2 Taft, who beat them 48-46 on Dec. 12.
Speaking of Taft, they open against Narbonne, who hasn't been seeded this low (No. 15) in well over a decade.
At No. 8, Dorsey will host Palisades while No. 7 Westchester and No. 10 Crenshaw will clash.
They'll all be gunning for Chatsworth, who should waltz their way to a second consecutive City final…
Fairfax senior Renardo Sidney will make his long-awaited college decision on Sunday during a news conference at the school. It's been reported that he'd make his decision after the season but things have a way of changing.
Sidney is expected to pick from among UCLA, USC and Arizona State among others…
Since the Southern Section boys started this week – second round action begins tomorrow – I'll take a quick look at the girls who start tonight.
Long Beach Poly opens their quest for a third consecutive CIF Southern Section title tonight against Paramount. Just go ahead and pencil them in for a semifinal date with league rival Long Beach Millikan, the No.4 seed.
No. 10 Lynwood hosts Palmdale tonight and could have a bear of a game against San Clemente in a possible second round matchup.
Despite Southern Section sanctions that took out 14 wins, Inglewood earned the No. 2 seed in Division III-A and will start second-round action at home on Saturday.
All roads for the girls' basketball finals will lead to Mater Dei for the section championships on March 5-7. Not a bad home game for the No. 1 girls' basketball team in the nation when they reach the Division II-A finals.
I'll leave that one up for your interpretation but it should create a good atmosphere for the other finals where the girls will enjoy playing in a state-of-the-art facility.