Believe it or not, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) 92nd Basketball Season elimination phase will already conclude on Friday. The Final Four cast was completed last week with Arellano University (AU), San Beda College (SBC), University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta (UPHSD) and Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) as this year’s semifinalists. Last year’s champs Letran Knights bowed out of contention along with 2015 semifinalists Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers. San Beda made the semis for the 11th straight season, while Mapua made it back-to-back. This week, four crucial encounters will determine the semis pairings, where the top two squads earn a twice-to-beat incentive.
The AU Chiefs and MIT Cardinals battle in tomorrow’s curtain raiser, while the SBC Red Lions tangle with the UPHSD Altas in the main game. And on Friday, the Cards and Altas collide in the opening match followed by the Red Lions-Chiefs tussle. The current team standings are as follows: AU 13-3, SBC 12-4, UPHSD 11-5, MIT 11-5, JRU 9-8, Letran 8-9, San Sebastian 7-10, Lyceum 6-11, Emilio Aguinaldo 5-11, and St. Benilde 0-16.
Scenario 1 (AU 2-0, SBC/UPHSD 1-1, MIT 0-2): If the league-leading Chiefs sweep their last two assignments, the Lions and Altas split their remaining games, and the Cards lose twice, then Arellano takes top spot and meets No. 4 Mapua, while No. 2 San Beda clashes with No. 3 Perpetual Help. The Chiefs and Lions enjoy the twice-to-beat advantage.
Scenario 2 (AU 2-0, UPHSD/MIT 1-1, SBC 0-2): Arellano lands at No. 1, while a triple tie among San Beda, Mapua and Perpetual Help ensues. In this case, the quotient system will be used to rank the three teams, where the least two teams must slug it out in a playoff game for the right to play the highest ranked squad in another playoff match for the No. 2 spot (and twice-to-beat incentive). The loser in the first playoff game becomes the No. 4 team, which must defeat Arellano in the semis twice to enter the finals.
Scenario 3 (AU 2-0, SBC/MIT 1-1, UPHSD 0-2): Arellano places first, San Beda second, Mapua third and Perpetual Help fourth. AU and SBC enjoy the twice-to-beat edge in the semis over UPHSD and MIT respectively.
Scenario 4 (SBC 2-0, AU/UPHSD 1-1, MIT 0-2): AU and SBC, with identical 14-4 cards, must dispute for No. 1 in a playoff duel. UPHSD and MIT occupy third and fourth spots respectively.
Scenario 5 (SBC 2-0, UPHSD/MIT 1-1, AU 0-2): SBC is No. 1, while AU settles for second. MIT and UPHSD, both at 12-6, must figure in a playoff for No. 3.
Scenario 6 (SBC 2-0, AU/MIT 1-1, UPHSD 0-2): AU and SBC (14-4) to fight for No. 1 in a playoff game, while MIT and UPHSD end at Nos. 3 and 4 respectively.
Scenario 7 (AU/SBC/MIT/UPHSD 1-1): Chiefs take No. 1, while Lions hold No. 2. Cards and Altas tangle for No. 3.
Scenario 8 (UPHSD 2-0, AU/SBC 1-1, MIT 0-2): AU places first. SBC and UPHSD, with 13-5 slates, must duel for No. 2. Mapua settles at No. 4.
Scenario 9 (UPHSD 2-0, SBC/MIT 1-1, AU 0-2): AU, SBC and UPHSD all finish with 13-5 records. Quotient system will be used to rank the three teams, where the least two must figure in a playoff joust for the right to face the highest gainer in another playoff for No. 1. The loser in the first playoff contest takes No. 3. Mapua, at 12-6, is No. 4.
Scenario 10 (UPHSD 2-0, AU/MIT 1-1, SBC 0-2): AU gets No.1, UPHSD takes No. 2, while SBC and MIT, with 12-6 tallies, must battle for No. 3.
Scenario 11 (MIT 2-0, AU/UPHSD 1-1, SBC 0-2): AU and MIT take Nos. 1 and 2 respectively. SBC and UPHSD are tied at 12-6 and must clash for the No. 3 spot.
Scenario 12 (MIT 2-0, AU/SBC 1-1, UPHSD 0-2): Chiefs take first and Altas drop to fourth. At 13-5, Lions and Cards must skirmish for No. 2.
Scenario 13 (MIT 2-0, SBC/UPHSD 1-1, AU 0-2): Triple tie at 13-5 for AU, SBC and MIT. Quotient to determine the ranking for two playoffs for the top two spots. UPHSD ends at No. 4.