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March 27, 2012

NHSI marks end of boys basketball season

MORE HOOPS: The RivalsHigh100 team rankings

Tom Bergeron is the Senior Editor for RivalsHigh.com. Send ideas, questions or comments to TBergero@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow on Twitter.

It may not be what it was created to be - the definitive high school boys basketball national championship tournament.

But this year's version of the National High School Invitational does nicely fill the bill of what it has become - the final event of the season, one filled with some pretty top teams.

And so it goes for the NHSI, which starts Friday at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md.

Six of the eight teams in the tournament are in the RivalsHigh Top 100 - No. 3 Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, No. 10 Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian, No. 11 Monteverde (Fla.) Academy, No. 12 Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely, No. 15 Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's Prep, No. 24 La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere, No. 89 Raleigh (N.C.) Ravenscroft and unranked Washington (D.C.) Coolidge.

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The teams combine to feature nine players in the Rivals150: No. 7 Anthony Bennett, No. 13 Brandon Ashley, No. 40 Winston Shepard and No. 52 Dominic Artis of Findlay Prep; No. 16 Hanner Perea, No. 101 Jay Simpson and No. 106 Rapheal Davis of La Lumiere; No. 35 Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian; and No. 87 Michael Frazier of Montverde Academy.

The tourney, however, is marked by who is not there.

Many of the top players are at this week's McDonald's All-American game.

Top teams are missing, too.

This season's undisputed No. 1 team - Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill - chose not to play in it this year.

Last year's national champion and this year's No. 2 team - Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony - is prohibited from playing by its state association.

And therein is the problem: With the exception of Florida, no state association has allowed a school to compete in the tournament.

So let the games begin. And they'll be good ones. They just won't settle any national debates.



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