This is the first year of a new format for the playoffs. The top teams from each division will be moved to an open division in an effort to determine the true best team in the state and to remove "super teams" from the divisional brackets.
By virtue of its third-place finish in the Sea View League, San Clemente would normally expect to be matched up against the first-place team from another league. However, with some first-place teams likely to be moved to the open division, the Tritons could get a highly rated second-place team. Some have rumored that it could be Mission Viejo, which finished second behind El Toro in the South Coast League.
Mission Viejo was ranked ninth in the most recent CIF poll. But with the top five teams from the 1AA Division having been moved to the Open Division, a Triton matchup with the Diablos is a possibility. Other high seeds who remain in the division are Long Beach Poly, Rancho Cucamonga, Damien and Los Alamitos.
Though CIF does not publish rankings below No. 16, San Clemente is ranked at No. 34 in the division according to Max-Preps/CBS Sports.
No matter whom the opponent is, the Tritons will open the playoffs on the road. If they win that game, they would have an opportunity for a home game in the second round. If the opponent on the other side of the bracket played at home in the first round, San Clemente would automatically get a home game. If not, then the venue would be decided by a coin flip.
Entering the playoffs on a two-game losing streak, the Tritons will get some help through the return to action of 2013 league MVP Sam Danold, who missed all but eight games this season due to injury, most recently a broken hand suffered on January 17. They'll also have 6-6 center Eric Anderson, who saw his first action Thursday.