Wait and see weekend for Xplorers
SOUTHAVEN --- The Memphis Xplorers are in a unique position this weekend. The team, after closing out the regular season with a win last week at Birmingham and a 11-5 season, will sit at home in the 18th and final week of the af2 regular season while their first round opponent is decided. The Xplorers will host one of five teams at the DeSoto Civic Center on August 5 at 7 p.m.
In the American Conference, four teams have clinched a berth (Xplorers, Florida Firecats, Louisville Fire and Green Bay Blizzard), leaving the Macon Knights, Quad City Steamwheelers, Manchester Wolves and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers to fight for the last two spots. In the marquee game of the weekend, Louisville plays at Green Bay on Saturday for the East Division crown.
Entering this weekend's season finales, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Louisville, Macon, Manchester and Quad City stand as possible Xplorers first round opponents.
The games involving these teams this weekend are: Louisville at Green Bay (Fri); Quad City at Manchester (Fri); Albany @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Sat) and Macon at Arkansas (Sat).
The af2 league office has calculated 32 different scenarios based on the possible results involving the above teams. The team that ends being the sixth seed will play the Xplorers on August 5. In those 32 scenarios, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finishes as the sixth seed 15 times, Macon eight times, Manchester five times and Louisville and Quad City twice.
So if you look at it mathematically and ignore the actual match ups, there is almost a 50/50 chance that the Xplorers will face the Pioneers for the first time ever, a 25 percent chance that it will be the Knights for the third time this season and about a 16 percent chance that the Wolves will be traveling to Southaven for a second time this season.
The scenarios, and how the playoff seedings were decided from them, are too numerous and complicated to list here. Right now, the only certainty is that the Xplorers will be hosting a first round playoff game on August 5. Coaches, players and fans will just have to be patient and wait for the dust to settle Saturday night.
Tickets for the Xplorers' August 5 home playoff game at 7 pm are on sale now.
Call TicketMaster at 901-525-1515, go to www.ticketmaster.com or stop by the DeSoto Civic Center Box Office during business hours. Playoff tickets for groups of 12 or more are discounted up to $14 a ticket. Call 662-342-1755 for group ticket information.
Listen to all the action on the radio home of the Xplorers, 730 ESPN.
Be sure to head to O'Charley's on Goodman Road in Southaven after every Xplorers home game for the official post game party.
Listen to the Danton Barto Show every Monday at 6pm on 730 ESPN live from The Fox and Hound in Southaven.
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