Nine Arizona high school basketball teams missed the postseason because of a flaw in the power points system, according to research done by engineer John Carrieres and interpreted by the Tribune.
The Desert Edge boys, Winslow boys, Chinle boys, Chandler Prep boys, Marana girls, Marana Mountain View girls, Sierra Linda girls, San Pasqual girls and Valley Union girls missed their respective state tournaments because of a power points flaw that rewarded teams for playing extra games regardless of outcome, according to Carrieres' data.
The Thunderbird boys, Camp Verde boys, Scottsdale Christian boys, Veritas boys, Basha girls, Alhambra girls, Sahuaro girls, St. Michael girls and Cibecue girls should have missed the playoffs, but made it because of the power points flaw, according to Carrieres' data.
These numbers are based on the basketball sectional results from last week, even though the flaw may have produced different matchups.
After his team lost to North Pointe in the first round of the Division III, Section III boys basketball tournament, Scottsdale Christian coach Bob Fredericks made plans for his players to turn in their jerseys because he thought the season was over.
However, the flaw gave Scottsdale Christian a boost for playing the extra game even though it resulted in a loss. The Eagles are now the No. 22 seed in the state tournament.
"It was like coming back from the dead," Fredricks said. "We were planning on turning in our equipment, but (once the power points updated) we realized it would be virtually impossible to drop out. So we started practicing again and now we can make the trip to Tucson (to face No. 11 Empire) and have a great chance to advance."
The Red Mountain boys and girls basketball teams were the big winners, as they both used sectional tournament upsets to reach the Division I, Section II title games and zoom up the rankings. Even though both Red Mountain teams lost in the finals (finishing 2-1 in the sectionals), playing the additional contests helped get them both first-round byes they wouldn't have received if there was no flaw.
The Red Mountain boys team finished as the No. 3 overall seed in Division I, but if the flaw had been fixed, the Lions would have entered the tournament at No. 11, according to Carrieres.
The girls team finished at No. 5 but should be a No. 11 seed, according to Carrieres.
The top-8 teams get first-round byes, so the Lions get the advantage of scouting their prospective opponents in the first round instead of playing. They will also have second-round home games.
Ironwood Ridge and Lake Havasu would have finished in the top-8 of Division I boys basketball if the power points flaw didn't exist. Red Mountain and Westview (No. 8 overall) instead have byes.
The Red Mountain girls took Westview's spot in the top-8.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
For the past two weeks, Chuck Schmidt, the AIA's chief operating officer, and Brian Bolitho, its director of business media, have repeatedly claimed that there is no error in the power points system because this was the formula passed by the executive board.
Bolitho said in an email on Jan. 31 that teams are not rewarded for playing extra games, although Carrieres and the subsequent power ranking results claim otherwise.