COLUMN: Basketball needs new playoff system

Esteban Ramirez, Sports Editor
February 29, 2012
Filed under Sports

In sports, a lot of the talk is usually what should be the criteria to make the playoffs, and if a certain team is even worthy to be considered for a playoff spot.

I like how in most sports, if you win the division, you can make the playoffs, but when two teams are battling for the division and have identical division or conference records, what do you look at next?

I would definitely look at how the teams played against each other and then how they played against the third place team.

What if each team beat each other once, and did the same against the other team?

Well, that’s the position the Bakersfield College women’s basketball team found itself in.

BC and Canyons had the same conference record and split the season series.

So, they looked at how they did against Los Angeles Valley, but they both beat L.A. Valley once.

Then they looked at how the teams did against a 7-20 Citrus College team that had forfeited 16 of their games, and one of those games was against Canyons.

I think that situation was handled poorly, and they could’ve looked at different things to decide who would get the playoff berth because it’s not BC’s fault that they had the bad luck that they actually played them twice and split the season series. Canyons beat Citrus once, and got another win because of the forfeit.

The California Community College Women Basketball Coaches Association currently has no rule about forfeited games or a situation like this one, but I think that something needs to be put in, in case something crazy like this happens again.

BC had a better overall record and the same in conference; it’s just too bad that something crazy like a team having to forfeit 16 games happened.

I don’t really know what can be done to change this. Maybe they can make it so that forfeited games won’t count as wins, or just not count those games in tiebreakers for a playoff berth.

Another way they could’ve settled it is to make it like baseball; put in a tiebreaker to get the playoff spot.

There are not many things better in sports when two teams battle it out for a last spot in the playoffs. It’s as simple as this: you win, and you get in.

If you do that, there won’t be teams upset that they didn’t get a fair chance to get a playoff berth because every team will leave everything on the court, and there will be no doubt about who deserves the playoff spot.

I understand why there’s no rule, because who in their right mind would ever think that would happen, but what I don’t understand is how they didn’t look at the overall record instead of looking at how they did against a team that forfeited more than half of their scheduled games.

Whatever they decide on, I hope it’s something that is  prepared for a situation like this.

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