I wondered how a complete month’s separation of boys’ and girls’ basketball post-seasons would fly, but it works out nicely. Hats off to the IHSAA. Otherwise, in rare cases, some schools would be making schleps in two straight weeks to Indianapolis to watch their boys’ and girls’ teams play for state championship hardware.

Girls’ hoops postseason begins Tuesday, and we Times-Union sportswriters have enjoyed putting the “second season” previews together for Monday’s release. The coaches I interviewed had good answers for my questions. Neither skipper gave me a coach’s platitude for any of the questions I asked them, and the articles, as they say, wrote themselves.

Northridge and Penn, two of the top three girls’ basketball teams in Class 4A Sectional 4 (hosted by Penn), will play in the opening round to face Warsaw, who drew a bye in the semifinals. The Tigers are obviously the team who round out that side of the bracket’s triumvirate.

I haven’t heard much squawking about seeding probably because I have not been around many folks aside from co-workers since the draw. It’s funny, I rarely hear the coaches complain about the draw, and I didn’t hear any complaints through the grapevine this year.

I like the blind draw. It affords the fans an opportunity to see great basketball in the early rounds, and the best teams, if they’re still playing their best at season’s end, will most likely face each other among Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday frays.

Girls’ basketball tends to amass greater average margins of victory, and I’ll use this as an example of why seeding would make for lower quality early round sectional basketball action. There are 34 girls’ basketball teams with average margins of victory at least 18 points or greater. There are 10 boys’ basketball teams who defeat their foes by an average of 18 points or greater.

Seeding doesn’t work well for boys’ basketball tournament action, either.

Field size among some of this coming week’s tourney venues (NorthWood, for example, is a five-team sectional field) would be ridiculous to seed.

Ohio, the state where I grew up, uses seeding, and plays at least one round of postseason basketball in the home court of the team with the better seed. Of course, there are nearly 750 high schools with four weeks to get from the opening round to the Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University for their final four weekend.

Squirrel! Brief topic change.

How can a state with 11 million people keep each of its high schools’ enrollments below 4,000 students while Indiana, with 60% of the population Ohio has, have two schools (Carmel and Ben Davis) greater than 4,400 students, along with at least a trio of other Indiana high schools quickly approaching the 4,000-student threshold?

I digress.

Indiana, on the other hand, will have nearly 400 prep basketball squads in the postseason. There should be a few more schools in the Hoosier State, mind you (see enrollment comment above), but nowhere near 750 high schools.

Thank Heaven. I not only like the blind draw, but I also like how after sectional rounds how the Hoosier State makes the single-day two-game regional the meat-grinder instead of trying to plop a first round of the regional in mid-week. School closings and other weather-related challenges - sprinkle in a pinch of pandemic complications while we’re at it – this time of year, can further complicate athletic departments’ logistic and staffing challenges mid-week.

The post-season in Indiana is much easier to follow than Ohio’s prep hoops postseason. These days, when I get a look at Ohio’s brackets I can’t tell a sectional from a district, and I can’t tell where the single site action starts and the higher-seed home team contests end.

Class basketball tournaments in 1998 were not a consensus when they were introduced. Many basketball fans harken for those single tournament days. Even so, the IHSAA has it figure out quite well.

Additionally, the blind sectional draw and the absence of seeding continue to be what makes the tournament great. Speculation of who will play whom, the resulting set-up is as chancy as playing a roulette wheel at a casino. When 34 teams (nearly 9% of the field) average at least an 18-point margin of victory, anything the IHSAA can do to keep a little mystery in the tournament is good with me.

I wish each of our area girls’ hoops teams continued success in this coming week’s start of their postseason journeys.