California edges past New Jersey in Great State Debate

Given that New Jersey's inclusion in the ESPN RISE Great State Debate for boys' basketball was a surprise to many, it's also perhaps a surprise that the Garden State was very close to California in this week's vote.

The voting for the No. 3 vs. No. 6 matchup concluded Wednesday night, and California was the winner. The Golden State's margin of victory, though, was just 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent, so there was a strong showing of Jersey pride.

With the victory, California and its lineup of basketball standouts advances to the semifinals, where it will go up against No. 2 seed Illinois. Based on how Illinois dominated Kentucky last week and what happened this week, Californians might need to crank up their finger-tapping on the keyboard to come close to Illinois.

New Jersey now joins No. 7 seed Kentucky, No. 8 seed Indiana and four other states that didn't advance into the eight-state bracket in the first place: Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Next week's Great State Debate should be close like this week's, matching up No. 4 seed Pennsylvania against No. 5 seed Michigan.

Best of the Great State Debate

"Goodness sakes! California is a who's who of basketball."

"California shouldnt even be the 3 seed … too many superstars to be rated that low."

"Ya, too bad the article doesn't mention more Jersey players because California could go on and on with current NBA players. Brent & John Barry, Drew Gooden, Matt Barnes, Amir Johnson, Chuck Hayes, Aaron Afflalo, Bruce Bowen, Jason & Jarren Collins, Austin Croshiere, Jared Dudley, Jordan Farmar, Josh Childress, Deshawn Stevenson, Jason Kapono, Eddie House, Craig Smith, Nick Young, Dorel Wright, Brian Scalabrine … should I continue? There are more guys currently in the NBA or we can bring up former players too. "