Each team in Class AA basketball in South Dakota will finish up their regular season by February 27, but then teams will be faced with a long break before the playoffs.

The first step to improving Class AA basketball was implemented with the upcoming round of 16. This gives a win-or-go-home atmosphere and also the opportunity to get the best teams to the state tournament. Now that it has been put in place, there are a few other scheduling quirks that need to be looked at.

With the removal of district/region week, all teams in Class AA will be faced with a break of some sort. Almost all of the teams will see a week off before the win-or-go-home situation. The exceptions to the rule are Rapid City Central/Strugis girls and Roosevelt/Lincoln boys who have booked games on the last possible days that they could. Both sets of teams will be faced with a four-day delay. Following the round of 16, team's will then have just under two weeks until the state tournament.

What that equates to is that teams that do go to the state tournament will have to endure a three-week window where they will have played one game. Those same teams will then play three games over three days.

Yes, you could argue that this gives each team a chance to get healthy and be at 100% full strength. You could even argue that it balances out the teams that are hot at the end of the season compared to the teams that are on a losing streak.

We battled for year's though to get the best possible matchups at the state tournament. Teams will have the same amount of time to wait as they do between the opening of practice to the first games of the season. Those first games of the year tend to be sluggish and not fully put together. If we're talking about the best possible product, it would be more beneficial to have the team's continue to play.

So the solution to that? Extend the regular season for Class AA to 22-games and one extra week. That opens up the opportunity to play more in-state games also (which is heavily needed and a discussion for another day). It wouldn't be a detriment to the kids to play two extra games. Prior to this year, all teams in Class AA were guaranteed to play 22-games based on districts/regions (with the exception of winter weather cancellations). It's been done in the past.

Maybe the best possible part of extending the season by one week? It would move the round of 16 playoff round to one week before the state tournament instead of two.

2017-2018 Official

  • End of Season: All games completed by  February 26 (girls), February 27 (boys)
  • Round of 16: March 2 (girls), March 3 (boys)
  • State Tournament: March 15-17 (combined)

2017-2018 Revised

  • End of Season: All games completed by March 5 (girls), March 6 (boys)
  • Round of 16: March 9 (girls), March 10 (boys)
  • State Tournament: March 15-17 (combined)


We've taken the correct steps to improve the class and playoffs. Now let's hope they continue to tweak the system to make it the best that it can be.

Besides...who doesn't want a little more basketball in March?


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