EPC Playoffs

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

This past Thursday, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference announced that both the semifinals and the championship finals for the boys and the girls would be played at the PPL Center.  The dates for the semis and finals are February 10 – February 13.  This is, indeed, exciting news.

I am sure many of you recall that it was three years ago that the District XI 6A semifinals were held there before more than 7,600 fans.  It was a night that is now etched into the memories of every local high school basketball fan.  All four teams were outstanding – Allen, Emmaus, Parkland and Pocono Mountain West.  The games did not disappoint.

It is hard to imagine that this year can match the excitement generated three years ago, but it is certainly a fitting venue for the Conference playoffs.  What seems to be the mystery, however, and a question I get asked throughout the year is how the teams get there and how they are seeded.

So, before the quarterfinals are played on Feb. 7, let me try to clear up the process:

Selecting the eight teams:

  • Division Winners get automatic bid, BUT NOT automatic 1, 2, 3…

For example, East Stroudsburg South will be the Mountain Division champion, but will not be the #1, 2, or 3 seed because of their record.  Allen, Liberty, and Central will have better records and will fill those slots.

Seeding:

  • Overall EPC Record (16 games) is the first criteria.

As I write this seven of the eight slots are filled with the order yet to be determined (Allen, Liberty, Central, Easton, Parkland, Freedom, and East Stroudsburg South).  It appears right now that Bethlehem Catholic will be the 8th team.

  • If teams are tied:

Head to Head competition will be used, ONLY if ALL Tied Teams played one another.

If the teams did not play one another, District XI Ranking Points will be used (using ONLY EPC 16 Games).

There could be a coin flip if ALL of the above have teams still tied (This is a distinct possibility for Allen and Liberty to determine seeds #1 and #2).

Central Catholic could also finish with the same record, but the District XI Ranking Points could keep them from the top two spots.

Conclusion:

The final regular season games are played on Monday and Tuesday and then the brackets will all be determined.  This has been a very competitive year so every game promises to be extremely exciting.

I urge all fans to come to the games, but if you cannot, RCN-TV will have the boys’ semifinals LIVE on Monday, Feb. 10 and the boys and girls championship finals on Feb. 13.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. The first half of the Super Bowl may not have been as riveting as we expected, but the second half sure made up for it. I am bewildered that the 49ers did not attempt to score at the end of the first half.  They could have made life miserable for the Chiefs with two consecutive possessions (end of first half and beginning of second half) allowing them to put points on the board.  You defer when you win the coin toss just to set up that situation.  They had time-outs to use and did not use them wisely.  It was a good time to go for the jugular.  They did not.
  1. Patrick Mahomes, at 24, became the youngest QB to be named the MVP of the Super Bowl. Tom Brady had that spot before Sunday Night.  The irony is that Mahomes did it in his third season while it took his head coach, Andy Reid, 21 seasons to get it done.  And being on the cover of the Madden ’20 video game did not jinx Mahomes either.
  1. Andy Reid is now guaranteed a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame – he is 7th in regular season wins; he has won 222 total games; he is 4th in playoff runs and 4th in playoff appearances for coaches with 10 or more seasons. Even Philadelphia fans have to be happy for the 61-year-old.
  1. NFL draft pick spots are determined now that the season has come to a close. The Bengals, Redskins, Lions, Giants, and Dolphins have the first five selections.  The Ravens, Titans, Packers, 49ers, and the Chiefs have the last five.  The Eagles will pick #21.  Of course, all of those slots could be changed due to trades.
  1. The regular season of high school basketball comes to a close this week with games on Monday and Tuesday night. Easton takes on Freedom on Monday at 7:00 PM and on Tuesday night, rivals Wilson and Notre Dame finish out their Colonial League season on RCN-TV at 7:00 PM.  Lafayette men are off this week, but we will have the LafayetteLehigh University men’s game on Saturday, Feb. 8 LIVE at 2:00 PM.  And then it is on to the PPL Center starting Monday, Feb. 10.

GARY’S GUESSES (LAST WEEK – 1-0)  (YEAR-TO-DATE) – 175-90-1  (66%) 

I PICKED THE SUPER BOWL WINNER! 

KANSAS CITY

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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