This is not going to be a popular opinion, particularly in Southern Nevada: The prep hoops state tournament at the two highest levels has become pointless.
It’s time to get rid of the DI and DI-A state basketball tournaments.
Each year, a “state champion” is crowned, but that term has become outdated. When it comes to prep basketball (and sure, football too), Nevada is divided into two entirely different states.
Reno is growing from a population perspective, and the addition of Tesla will only help, but it can’t keep up with the size of Las Vegas. It’s showing on the hardwood.
The talent disparity between Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada schools is drastic. It’s getting to the point you can fill out brackets with nearly complete certainty once the field is set. It’s the same each year—the North is going down.
This year in the DI and DI-A state tournaments, Northern Nevada was 0-8. The average score disparity in Northern Nevada vs. Southern Nevada games was disgusting. This is supposed to be the most anticipated tournament of the year for basketball lovers across the state. It’s become a formality.
The DI North boys teams (Carson and Reno) lost by an average score of 20.5 points this year. The DI North girls (Bishop Manogue and Reno) lost by an average score of 17.
It’s the same pattern in the DI-A classification. The two Northern Nevada boys teams lost by an average of 17.5 points and the two girls teams, although closer, still lost by an average total of 10.5 points.
And this year certainly wasn’t an anomaly. The DI and DI-A North teams went 0-6 at the state tournament in Las Vegas last winter.
In 2014, the DI boys (Reno and Spanish Springs) lost by an average score of 28. The Reno and Lowry girls won state titles that year but Northern Nevada’s record against Southern Nevada squads at state was still just 5-6.
So over the last three years, the DI and DI-A North is 5-20 at state with all five wins coming two years ago. As the hoops power has immigrated south, Northern Nevada is 0-14 at state the last two years.
By putting an end to these scrimmages that will continue to lead to all Southern Nevada state championship games, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association would not only save money, but it would save face.
Bishop Gorman has dragged the NIAA’s flag through the mud for the majority of the last decade and now Southern Nevada as a whole is joining the Gaels come tournament time.
Admittedly the sample size of the last two years is small. But it doesn’t take an expert realize Southern Nevada is holding all the chips. And that’s not changing any time soon.
Crown a Northern Nevada champion. And crown a Southern Nevada champion. Leave it at that. Because at this point, the DI and DI-A state basketball tournaments are a waste of time and resources.