Winning teams lose in tournament blind draw

SIDELINES

February 23, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

County coaches are wondering if those who support the blind draw for the state open tournament are blind to what is fair and best. In the blind draw, losing teams stand to be rewarded before winning teams are.

The county's top two 4A boys basketball teams, No. 8 Annapolis (17-5) and No. 18 Glen Burnie (17-6), are meeting in the first

round of the East Region and neither is too happy about it.

By blind draw, Glen Burnie got the seventh seed and Annapolis the 10th, so the Gophers will play host to the Panthers at 7 tonight. If Annapolis wins, the Panthers will play host to No. 2 seed Northern-Calvert (first-round bye) in Tuesday's quarterfinals.

Glen Burnie's reward if it defeats Annapolis will be a trip to Northern on Tuesday to face a good Patriots' team it beat earlier this season.

"Five of the top seven teams in our region [East] are in the same bracket, which really is not fair," said Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle. "They ought to use the old points system to seed the teams."

Bogle was referring to his team, Annapolis, No. 11 Arundel (15-6), and Calvert County's Northern and Calvert.

The best draws went to top seed Old Mill (8-13), Meade (12-10) the fourth seed and No. 5 seed Chesapeake (8-14). They are in the top bracket with ninth-seeded Queen Anne's (losing record) and 17th-ranked and eighth seed North County (14-8, runner-up to Glen Burnie in the North Division).

Somebody out of that group will advance to the region final opposite the survivor of the stacked lower bracket.

Annapolis coach John Brady, whose Panthers have split with the Gophers, agreed with Bogle.

"The whole system of the blind draw is stupid and anybody who supports it is stupid," said Brady. "You can't possibly rationalize that a team with a losing record should have an easier road than a team with a winning one.

"This is the computer age and there is no reason the state couldn't use power ratings like the NCAA does to seed the teams. Teams would get credit for their records and strength of schedule. Our team and Glen Burnie got shafted because we have the best overall records and have to win four games while it's possible for a team with a losing record to go through only having to win three games."

Brady would be happy if the top five teams (16-team bracket is used) in the 11-team region were seeded by records and received first-round byes. He would have been satisfied with the third seed.

"All that stuff about you have to play the tough teams eventually and what's the difference if it's the first round is a lot of bull," said Brady. "It's not true because the teams in the top bracket won't be playing the tough teams all the way through."

There have been so many complaints and negative talk concerning the blind draw among coaches that it's hard to believe the state won't change things.

The vast majority of coaches are not opposed to the open tournament that includes all MPSSAA schools, but the majority are opposed to the blind draw.

Successor to Bogle?

With Bogle stepping down after his 28th season as coach at Glen Burnie, it will be interesting to see who his successor will be.

Mike Rudd, a former player of Bogle's and a nine-year Gopher assistant coach, is interested in the post, but not being a county teacher could work against him.

That would be too bad because Rudd is a good man who can coach and communicates well with the athletes. Rudd is going back to school in the fall to earn his teaching degree.

In the ring

The 55th Navy Brigade boxing championships are set for 7:30 tonight at Halsey Field House (free admission), and coach Jim McNally said the heavyweight bout could be "an Ali-Frazier classic matchup."

Derek McCoy of Baltimore and Kico Eaton of Lanham are slated for the 10th and final bout that McNally said, "could be the best heavyweight bout of all time in the Brigades.

"Both are seniors and very quick. McCoy is more of a banger and Eaton more of a boxer."

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