the second straight year entering post-season play, the No. 1 team in
Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s Top 50 junior-college
teams has bitten the dust without winning a single playoff game.
both teams are from Florida and were dispatched in two straight games
in the state junior-college tournament, a grueling 10-team,
double-elimination affair that may be even more hotly-contested, and
talent-laden as the Junior College World Series itself. The winner of
the Florida state tournament (or, technically, the National Junior
College Athletic Association Region 8 champion) advances to the
national final May 24-31 in Grand Junction, Colo.
the nation’s top-ranked team a week ago, won’t be advancing after
its demise in the Florida JC tournament, just as Miami-Dade, PG’s
No. 1 team at the same stage a year ago, fell far short of
expectations. One-loss Miami-Dade still remains alive in this year’s
tournament after dispatching the State College of Florida-Manatee,
PG’s No. 1-ranked pre-season team, on Monday.
State College of Florida-Manatee at least one a post-season game this
year, unlike in 2013 when Central Arizona, ranked No. 1 by PG to
start that season, was sidelined without winning so much as a single
it the Perfect Game jinx that so many of its No. 1-ranked teams have
had difficulty getting out of their own way early in post-season play
the last two years, but Chipola’s demise this year was entirely
unexpected as it may have the most talented roster in the country
with as many as four players projected to go in the first 10 rounds
of this year’s draft.
only did Chipola falter in state-tournament play, but No. 2 Grayson
(Texas) was bounced from the NJCAA Region 5 tournament and No. 5 St.
Johns River, the second-highest ranked team in Florida, met the same
fate as Chipola by losing two straight games, despite entering the
state tournament with 13 straight wins.
week’s Top 50 JC ranking took into consideration tournament games
played all around the country through Monday, and form pretty much
ruled elsewhere. No team had yet to punch its ticket to the Junior
College World Series, but new No. 1 Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) was
one the verge of winning the Alabama state tournament and the
automatic bid to Grand Junction that goes with it. Of note, defending
national champion Central Alabama went out in two straight games in
that tournament this year.
berths in this year’s Junior College World Series will be
determined in the next day or two with qualifying tournaments in
Region 5 (Western Texas, New Mexico), Region 6 (Kansas) and Region 14
(Eastern Texas, Louisiana), nearing completion, along with those in
Region 8 (Florida) and Region 22 (Alabama).
junior colleges are not members of the NJCAA, but every top-ranked
team in that state tournament, which began with 36 entrants and has
been narrowed to a field of eight, has moved on. Orange Coast, the
No. 1 seed in southern California, has moved to No. 2 nationally,
while Chabot, the No. 1 seed in northern California, has climbed to
No. 5. The final four teams in California will meet in Fresno May
24-26 to determine a state champion.
NJCAA Division II schools are ranked in PG’s all-inclusive Top 50,
led by No. 15 Mesa (Ariz.) CC, which became the first team to qualify
for the D-II World Series, also from May 24-31, in Enid, Okla.