The glow of postseason brackets can make it easy to overlook just how different those brackets would look if they had been set before the season started.
Preseason favorites like Minnetonka and Wayzata stumbled in key games while scrappy teams like Maple Grove and Rosemount fought their way up the rankings. Other big finishers, like Osseo, weren’t even in the mix when the season started.
Then again, there’s also Eden Prairie, who launched the season in No. 1 and blew past every contender to come along.
See the graph above for a look at how the Metro Top 10 rankings changed over the course of the season.
For Minnetonka, the season began with a fourth-place ranking and high expectations. The Skippers appeared to be fulfilling those expectations early on. Wins over Hudson, Shakopee and Osseo sent them to third place, where they stayed for three weeks.
But Minnetonka entered a slump when it lost to Edina 27-20. The season ended with losses to Eden Prairie and Wayzata. It officially dropped off the rankings Oct. 10.
If the rankings teach us anything, though, it’s that these positions aren’t set in stone. Minnetonka will make the case for why it belongs among the elite teams when postseason play begins this week. The Skippers are seeded fifth in the section 6AAAAAA tournament. They start the tournament against No. 4 seed Edina at 7 p.m. Friday.***
- Eden Prairie
- Maple Grove
- East Ridge
- Prior Lake
SOURCE: Minneapolis Star Tribune