By Bill Paterson
A bid for respect and a chance to play at Arco Arena will be at stake tonight when Burbank plays at Jesuit High School in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section boys Division I basketball playoffs.
Burbank beat Sacramento High twice this season to win its first Metro Conference title since 1996 and, with a victory tonight, would reach Tuesday's semifinals and an Arco appearance for the first time since 1998.
But Titans (23-5) fans are miffed that their school got a lower playoff seed than perennial hoops power Jesuit (20-8), which finished second to Sheldon in the Delta River League, had a less impressive win-loss record and was ranked lower by The Bee (No. 3 vs. No. 7) and by NorCalPreps.com (No. 10 vs. unranked).
Burbank is a No. 6 seed; Jesuit a No. 3 seed, which gives the Marauders the home court advantage tonight.
Jesuit received the higher seed because the Delta River had the better league strength rating; it played the tougher overall schedule; and it beat the Titans 75-58 Dec. 11 at the Gridley Tournament.
Burbank comes into the game having not lost on the court since Dec. 16, when the Titans fell 63-39 to Analy of Sebastopol in the St. Hope Classic at Sacramento High.
The Titans did forfeit two games, including its Metro opener against Hiram Johnson, because of a brawl during the championship game of the Modesto Christian tournament Dec. 30.
Six other area teams ranked in the top 20 in Northern California by NorCalPreps.com also play tonight.
No. 4 Sheldon, which plays host to Rodriguez in D-I
No. 8 Granite Bay, which plays host to McNair in D-I
No. 9 Woodcreek, which plays host to Will C. Wood in D-II
No. 11 Sacramento, which plays host to Sierra in D-III
No. 13 Franklin, which plays host to Turlock in D-I
No. 20 El Dorado, which plays host to Foothill in D-III