Posted On: 02/28/22 2:13 PM

With CIF Southern and Northern Section champions having been crowned last week, the CIF State playoff brackets were release Sunday afternoon. The state’s top teams are now competing for the opportunity to be called the best in California within their divisions with action starting Tuesday. In this piece write about the best opening round matchups in the Open Division field.

Mater Dei (26-4) at Bishop Montgomery (20-3)

Some questioned the validity of having Bishop Montgomery in the Southern Section Open Division, but the always-well coached Knights proved they belonged winning two of three pool games over Crean Lutheran and Damien while its only loss came to eventual champion Corona Centennial. Mater Dei found itself in a difficult pool and dropped two of its three Southern Section Open games to Harvard-Westlake and Sierra Canyon, but picked up a win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. So what’s the theme heading into this Tuesday night win or go home showdown? I think it’s similar styles of play. This year’s versions of Mater Dei and Bishop Montgomery both excel when executing their offense in the half-court setting while also playing a traditional brand on the defensive end with solid man-to-man and team rebounding principles.

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