Most of the league champs have been crowned and many teams have locked up playoff berths, so why the angst over tonight's regular-season finales of the boys' hoops season?
Because there's still plenty to be won and lost, due to the Sac-Joaquin Section's formula for selecting and seeding its 80 teams in five divisions.
The top eight seeds host openers in all divisions.
Division 1 shifts to a neutral site after the first round and the other divisions use a neutral site after the quarterfinals.
Here's a look at some of tonight's possible implications for Stanislaus District teams:
Division 1: The big winner could be No. 5 Turlock, even though it's regular season is over. No. 4 Oak Ridge was upset Wednesday, allowing Turlock to leapfrog and clinch at least the No. 4 seed. ... If No. 3 Merced beats last-place Buhach Colony, it can't be overtaken and could even climb to No. 2 if Burbank loses to Sacramento — a toss-up. It's not a big deal, as those two seeds would play on a neutral court in the semifinals should they keep winning. ... No. 6 Davis is done playing and could go anywhere from No. 5 to No. 7. It is No. 5 at the moment, having passed Oak Ridge, but Rodriguez and Sheldon would leapfrog Davis with wins. Rodriguez is a big favorite and Sheldon plays Folsom, a team it lost to by 10 earlier. That means Davis could end up just where it started, at No. 6. If that happens, it could mean a Merced-Davis quarterfinal.
Division 2: Pitman's falling fast (1-4 in its last five games) and could be out of the playoffs if it loses to Los Banos. Pitman was 13th before losing Wednesday. If the Pride does advance, it will face one of the top three seeds in the opener.
Division 3: Manteca keeps winning, and keeps falling in the ratings. It has gone from fifth to sixth in the last week, and will drop to seventh if Del Oro beats Rocklin — Rocklin won 86-83 earlier. Manteca has a home opener if it beats East Union, but a No. 7 seed will likely send it to Vista del Lago (22-2) for a quarterfinal.
There's quite a bit of drama with Del Oro's legal battle to get a 6-foot-7 star from France on the court. A Del Oro booster spent thousands of dollars to bring him from a Florida prep school — after he was reportedly offered to two other Sacramento-area schools — but the section found undue influence and ruled him ineligible. That decision was backed by a judge last week.
Livingston and Sierra are in the playoffs — they were 13th and 14th, and both won this week — but Sonora and Weston Ranch could be out if they lose. The Ranch faces a motivated Sierra club, which could get to 11th with a win, and Sonora faces Oakdale — a team it beat by 10 earlier.
Division 4: Colfax is No. 1, regardless of what happens, and Modesto Christian is No. 2 if it beats Ripon Christian — thanks to then-No. 2 Amador losing to Linden this week. It likely goes this way: No. 3 Calaveras, No. 4 Central Catholic and No. 5 Amador, as all three are favorites tonight. Hilmar lost to Central on Tuesday, but stays at No. 7 or better if it wins tonight because its rivals lost.
Escalon was No. 16, the final playoff slot, but it won Tuesday while many of the teams surrounding it lost. The Cougars have an interesting one tonight vs. Ripon, which was No. 12 before losing Tuesday — a loss that dropped the Indians behind Escalon. Now it's Ripon that must win to make sure it will reach the playoffs.
Division 5: No. 2 Ripon Christian is a big underdog tonight, but can can expect no worse than a No. 3 even if it loses. The two slots are interchangeable, keeping RC from No. 1 Bradshaw Christian. Big Valley was No. 8, but it lost Tuesday and is an underdog vs. Brookside Christian (16-1).