In contrast to results in the boys’ brackets, the district tournament pairings for 3A, 2A and 1A girls have gone as expected. Most of the top four seeds in each bracket has released the semifinal round but there have been a few upsets sprinkled. It’s the same scenario in Classes 4A-5A as most of the home teams were winners in round one.
We look at those and all brackets and how they shape up for the weekend ahead.
State tournament pairings for Class 3A and regional brackets in 2A and 1A will be announced on Sunday. The field in Class 5A and 4A will be reduced to 16 teams in each by Friday.
Each of the seven districts earn automatic bids to the 32-team state tournament bracket with the remaining 18 spots determined by RPI standings made official on Sunday. The official bracket will be released that same day.
Only two teams seeded lower than fourth in a district bracket have reached the semifinal round and both are in the Metro tournament. #6 Kent Denver and #7 Colorado Academy both picked up road wins in the quarterfinals on Tuesday and will now meet in the tournament semifinals on Thursday. The winner will earn an automatic bid. Both are on the bubble concerning RPI with the Sun Devils #29 and Mustangs #32 today.
Trinidad can join the group of lower seeds advancing with a win tonight. The Miners are #5 in the Tri Peaks bracket and will visit #4 Buena Vista in a game postponed from Tuesday.
Another thought on the state tournament pairings involves the Confluence bracket. Eagle Ridge Academy and DSST-Byers are paired in one semifinal so the winner will earn an automatic bid to state. Neither is in the top 40 of RPI so they will bump a team from the top 32 for a spot. And that’s a concern for Colorado Academy. As mentioned, the Mustangs are #32 and would be bumped from the field if the bracket was released today. That makes their semifinal battle with Kent very important.
The top three finishers in District 3, the top five from District 5 and the top four from all other districts earn tickets to the regional tournament next week. And thus far there have been only a coupe of surprises in results; based on seeds.
Mancos beat Ridgway on Tuesday in the District 3 pigtail game so the #5 Bluejays are into the semifinals of the five-team bracket. They still need to beat Ignacio on Friday or the loser of Telluride/Dolores on Saturday to advance.
Loveland Classical upended Union Colony Prep 44-40 in District 7 and are through to the regional round for the first time in program history. Now they challenge top seeded Heritage Christian in the semifinals but have earned a trip to next week regardless of the outcome.
More lower seeds could advance tonight as all four quarterfinal games in District 4 are set for this evening and #5 Dolores Huerta Prep visits #4 Calhan in District 8. The five winners all advance to the regional tournament.
Districts 1 and 6 advance their top two teams to regionals with the remaining tournaments all qualifying their top three. And again, upsets are difficult to find.
#5 Edison beat #4 Evangelical Christian in District 7 last night so the Eagles are the only team seeded lower than fourth to reach the semifinals. There are two more chances tonight including another pairing in District 7 as #6 Deer Trail looks to upset #3 Kiowa. Also, in District 6 is a make up game between #3 Moffat and #6 Centennial postponed from Tuesday.
Otherwise, the entire district tournament bracket has gone as expected. Flatirons Academy and Shining Mountain are the first two regional qualifiers as they will battle for the District 8 championship on Saturday. Both are through regardless of which team grabs the win. The third qualifier is the winner between Front Range Baptist and Mile High Academy in the third-place game.
16 first round games in both classifications were scheduled for Tuesday and all but two were played. Battles between Rifle-Weld Central and Fort Morgan-Mesa Ridge were pushed back to Wednesday because of travel conditions. Winners of those and all from Tuesday go on the road Friday to face a top 16 seed in each classification.
Seed wise, the biggest upset in Class 5A saw Pine Creek beat Grand Junction Central 29-26. The Eagles were seeded #39 and beat a team 13 places higher in the bracket. Two other lower seeds in 5A picked up road wins as Brighton (#37) downed Mountain Range for their first ever post-season win and Arvada West (#36) surprised Loveland.
Longmont, seeded #37 was the lowest ranked team to collect a victory in 4A as they won at #28 D’Evelyn 52-50. Littleton (#34) was the only other road team to pick up a win as they knocked out #31 Denver West 58-44.