March will come in roaring like a lion for girls basketball teams in Class 3A, 2A and 1A — as the regional fields have been established and first-round play will begin March 1 all around the state of Colorado. While a smattering of lower-seeded teams are certainly capable of posting big upsets, the grand majority of the top 16 teams should advance to Saturday’s regional finals to duke it out for a spot in the Great 8 tournaments played at the University of Denver (3A), Blue Arena in Loveland (2A) and University of Northern Colorado (1A) the following week.

Here are a few potential Sweet 16 matchups that might present extremely competitive atmospheres.

Class 3A

Regional hosts (in order by seed): Peyton, CSCS, Grand Valley, Centauri, Yuma, St. Mary’s, Highland, Bennett

Peyton vs. St. Mary’s Academy/The Vanguard School — Peyton (20-0) surely remembers being in this position last year and losing to Buena Vista in the regional finals. The Panthers could be tested again between either St. Mary’s Academy (12-9) or Vanguard (13-8) — two teams that come out of gigantic and tough leagues. The Wildcats and the Coursers each allow just about 36 points a game, while Vanguard has been a little bit more explosive offensively. The question is, will either team be able to tackle the tandem of AJ Mannering (33.4 ppg) and Abbie Nickell (25.9 ppg in the month of February)?

St. Mary’s vs. Timnath — At 61.8 points per game, the young Cubs offense is legit despite having pretty much all freshmen and sophomores in their rotation. Timnath (16-6) comes out of a traditionally strong Patriot League, lending to the idea it is battle-tested, and the team’s scoring production has actually increased in February (63.4 ppg). St. Mary’s (18-4) had won eight in a row before a district loss to Colorado Springs Christian, and the Pirates are actually averaging just 53.3 points per game this month (58.1 ppg for the season). But SMHS is on a mission to get back to the Great 8, where it took third place last year.

Class 2A

Regional hosts: Merino, Rangely, Burlington, Sanford, Hoehne, Denver Christian, Dayspring Christian, Mancos

Burlington vs. Limon — It feels like the Badgers fanbase will make the trek to Burlington in droves, thus partially eliminating any sort of home-court advantage for the Cougars (17-4). And, yes, the teams already played in February with Burlington sneaking out a 49-48 victory. Limon (14-7) is 4-3 this month and most of their games have been tight. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a classic battle between these squads once again for the right to move on.

Dayspring Christian vs. Simla — The Eagles (17-4) earned the home court by winning their district, but Simla (14-8) did record the higher ranking on the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index through district play and thus could be a tough out in this round of play. The Cubs have posted 60 points or more five times this month, while DCA has kept its solid defense through the end of the season by allowing just 30 points a game.

Class 1A

Regional hosts: McClave, Stratton, Flatirons Academy, Briggsdale, Idalia, Dove Creek, South Baca, Kiowa

McClave vs. Sangre de Cristo — No bones about it, McClave (20-1) is a beast and should consider itself a state championship contender with an average margin of victory of 26.8 points per game. But Sangre de Cristo comes into regionals at 17-4 and on a six-game win streak. Freshman Audrina Knorr is averaging 12.8 points over her past five outings and the juniors and seniors behind her remain consistent.

Kit Carson vs. South Baca — Like the 2A 7-vs.-10 matchup, South Baca (17-4) earned the regional host bid by winning its district while Kit Carson (13-9) has the higher Selection & Seeding Index ranking. Three of the Wildcats’ losses came against McClave. Neither the Patriots (43.5 points per game) nor the Wildcats (44.9) boast high-scoring offenses, so one could expect a slugfest to play out if the matchup develops.