Honkers to tangle with NU | TheUnion.com

Honkers to tangle with NU

Just when he thought tonight’s rivalry matchup with Yuba City couldn’t get any bigger, Nevada Union varsity boys basketball coach Jeff Dellis took a look at the Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings.

And when he realized just how important this 7 p.m. Metro matchup will be, Dellis wasn’t looking at last week’s ratings.

The Miners update the ratings daily, tracking the Division I scores around the section in order to know exactly where NU stands in the playoff picture.

After all, when your postseason livelihood is on the line, you just don’t want to wait until Friday.

“This is huge,” Dellis said. “We’re in playoff mode now. We really felt (the Metro Conference was) done an injustice with the power ratings.

“It’s not so much the numbers, but the gap between our league and the other Division I leagues. With that kind of gap, we have to play extraordinarily well.

“The way we figure it, we can have no more than one loss.”

The Metro Conference the 11th toughest league – among all divisions – in the section. Its 6.4 rating is well below three other D-I leagues, including the Delta (7.9), the Modesto Metro Conference (7.6) and the San Joaquin Athletic Association (7.6).

With those higher league ratings, members of those conferences have a leg up on Metro teams, similar to the strength of schedule factored into college football’s Bowl Championship Series.

Nevada Union (8-12 overall, 3-2 Metro) debuted at No. 16 in last week’s D-I ratings. But, Dellis said, a 1-1 record in the past week has likely dropped the Miners to 19th.

The top 16 rated teams in each division qualify for the postseason.

Yuba City (9-10, 3-2) comes to town facing a similar situation, having been rated No. 22 last week. The Honkers, though, won both of their matchups last week.

A year ago, the Miners needed overtime to edge Yuba City at Ali Gymnasium, as NU won a 57-50 thriller.

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