Following last weekend's MIAA state championships, we have updated our MIAA Top 25 poll for the final time in 2012 this evening.
Division 1 state champion Xaverian finishes at No. 1, after winning 13 of its final 14 games. The Hawks came into the spring as the No. 4 team in our preseason poll, but fell out of the countdown at the halfway point of the season following a five-game losing streak.
For the complete poll, CLICK HERE. A few notes about the final poll:
-- Two teams finish in the poll with losing records. South Hadley (12-13) won its first Division 2 state title in school history, and was seeded No. 2 in the West sectional despite a 7-13 record. This is in part to the 16 regular-season games played against Division 1 competition. Springfield Central (10-12) comes in at No. 25 after knocking off state title contender Springfield Cathedral in the D1 West quarterfinals.
-- Of the eight teams that played for a state championship in Divisions 1 through 4, only one team -- Plymouth North -- was ranked in the final regular season poll released on May 28. The Eagles came into the Division 2 South tournament ranked No. 20, and finish No. 8 after making their fourth state final appearance in five years. Going one step further, of the 12 teams that made the state semifinals in Divisions 1 through 3 (In Division 4, the North-South final represents the state championship), only four were ranked in the May 28 poll -- Auburn, Lowell, Westfield, and the aforementioned North.
-- No team finished exactly where they started in the preseason. Only Lowell (No. 2, preseason No. 3), St. John's of Shrewsbury (No. 6, preseason No. 9), Plymouth North (No. 8, preseason No. 5), Lincoln-Sudbury (No. 17, preseason No. 15), and the aforementioned Xaverian come close to finishing near their first ranking of 2012.
-- There are 11 teams in the final poll that were unranked in the May 28 poll. That includes the three state champions (Xaverian, South Hadley, North Reading) in the final poll. Of the 11 teams, only three have previously been ranked this season -- Xaverian, Taunton and East Bridgewater.
Here is how the final poll breaks down by league affiliation:
Bay State Conference - 3
Catholic Conference - 3
Dual County - 2
Old Colony - 2
Southern Worcester County - 2
Suburban League - 2
Atlantic Coast - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Hockomock - 1
Merrimack Valley - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Middlesex - 1
South Coast - 1
South Shore - 1
Valley League - 1
Valley Wheel - 1
As always, thanks for following along in 2012. Any questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org