11.15.18 | News
Top ranked teams set to collide
Stacked. If there’s a single word to describe the 2018 Culligan City of Palms Classic field, that’s the one. The 26-team tournament features seven of the USA Today Super 25 and 11 of the MaxPreps preseason top 100. Three of the top five teams on each list will grace the court at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
The disagreement between the rankings could be settled if the team that’s No. 2 on the MaxPreps list and No. 3 on USA Today’s — Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) — and the team that’s No. 2 in the USA Today rankings and No. 3 with MaxPreps — IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) — meet in the City of Palms final.
That’s no certainty, of course, as reigning City of Palms champion University School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), which is No. 4 in both rankings and looms as a possible semifinal opponent for Oak Hill. But that’s only if University School gets past a potential quarterfinal with Imhotep Charter School (Philadelphia), which is 10th in the MaxPreps rankings and 16th in USA Today’s.
A stumbling block for IMG might be McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia), which is No. 9 on the MaxPreps list and No. 14 with USA Today. And if McEachern doesn’t face IMG in the semis, it could very well instead be MaxPreps No. 11 and USA Today No. 15 Paul VI (Fairfax, Virginia).
IMG’s ultra-challenging side of the bracket also includes would-be quarterfinal opponent Mountain Brook (Mountain Brook, Alabama), which USA Today ranks 18th and MaxPreps pegs at 23rd.