BY EMMETT MCCALL
With the PIAA basketball championships taking place today and tomorrow at Penn State University's Bryce Jordan Center, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at a few faults that I have with the way the state tournament is run.
I'd love to see a return to the days of separate Eastern and Western playoffs in the state.
Several years ago when Philadelphia teams joined the PIAA, the 32-team state tournament brackets in each of the classes were altered to reflect where the majority of the teams in each class were located.
Since 75 percent of the Class AAAA teams in the state are located in the East, it gets 75 percent of the playoff teams. So instead of a 16-16 split, there are 24 East teams and 8 West teams in the playoffs.
There other classes aren't quite as unbalanced.
Class AAA has 20 teams from the East and 12 from the West. Class AA has an equal 16 East teams and 16 West teams. The Class A breakdown is 15 from the East and 17 from the West.
At first glance, it appears to be the fair way to award the playoff spots, but I think there are some glaring problems with the system.
When the state playoff brackets are mixed unequally, you can run into a pair of situations that have occurred this year.
* In the second round of the state playoffs, Tri-Valley, the District 11 champion, played Conemaugh Valley High School of Johnstown, the Dis