The basketball season is headed into the winter break and when teams return to the court after Christmas, they will be prepping for a slightly different postseason. Through an unanimous vote of the CHSAA Board of Directors, the basketball playoff system is reverting back to the system put in place before the 2019-20 season. Those changes were made in the CHSAA bulletin on December 16th.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY OT SPORTSCHECK
This division is the most impacted. The playoff season in place for this year called for super regionals to determine the eight state qualifiers, but instead there are again three regionals with district qualifiers sent to predetermined regionals.
The layout now calls for Region 1 to pair up Districts 1 and 8. The top two teams from each district advance and square off in two games with winners advancing to the state tournament. The champion of District 1 faces the second place team from District 8 and vice versa; with again each winner becoming a state qualifier.
- District 1: Caprock Academy, DeBeque, Dove Creek, North Park, Norwood, Nucla, Ouray
- District 8: Belleview Christian, Beth Eden, Academy of Torah, Denver Jewish Day, Denver Waldorf, Flatirons Academy, Front Range Baptist, Mile High Academy, Rocky Mountain Lutheran
Region 2 brings together qualifiers from Districts 4, 5 and 7. The top three teams from each district advance to regionals where they will be seeded one through nine and placed in three three-team pods. The winner of each pod advances to the state tournament.
- District 4: Briggsdale, Caliche, Fleming, Haxtun, Longmont Christian, Merino, Pawnee, Peetz, Prairie, Weldon Valley
- District 5: Arickaree/Woodlin, Bethune, Deer Trail, Flagler, Genoa Hugo, Hi Plains, Idalia, Stratton, Lone Star, Otis
- District 7: Colorado D&B, Cripple Creek, Elbert, ECA, Hanover, Kiowa, Miami-Yoder, Pikes Peak Christian, Simla
Region 3 is the same format with the top three teams from Districts 2, 3 and 6 combining to form the three pods. Again the winner of each pod heads off to the state event.
- District 2: Cheraw, Cheyenne Wells, Eads, Granada, Kit Carson, McClave, Wiley
- District 3: Aguilar, Kim/Branson, La Veta, Manzanola, Primero, South Baca, Springfield, Walsh
- District 7: Antonito, Centennial, Cotopaxi, Creede, Lake City, Mountain Valley, Sangre De Cristo, Sierra Grande
The Class 1A state tournament is set for a return to UNC in Greeley. It’s still not determined if the two championship games will stay there or move over to the Loveland Events Center to combine with the 2A finals. That decision will come closer to the state tournament.
Eight district tournaments will be played with the top three teams from each bracket advancing to the 32-team regional tournament. The remaining eight qualifiers will be selected by RPI standings which will be updated through district tournaments.
District champions earn the right to host a four-team regional tournament and they will be seeded one through eight based on RPI. All other qualifiers will be seeded nine through 32; again based on RPI. The bottom eight seeds (25-32) could be moved for geographic purposes and district matchups will be avoided in round one of the tournament.
The eight regional tournament champions advance to the state tournament and the bracket will be reseeded after state qualifiers are determined. The Class 2A state tournament is scheduled for the Events Center in Loveland and as mentioned, it’s unsure at this point whether the state finals will be combined with the 1A championship games.
Seven district tournaments will be held with each qualifying the top two teams into the regional bracket. The remaining 18 qualifiers will be determined by RPI. District champs earn the right to host a regional tournament if they are ranked in the top 16 of RPI following the district events. If a district champion is not in the top 16 of RPI, they will be placed in the bracket according to their RPI standing.
The top eight seeds will host four team regional tournaments with the winner advancing to the 3A state tournament at the University of Denver. Seeds 25-32 may be moved for geographic purposes and district members will not be paired up in the first round of regionals.
Please note the bracket WILL NOT be reseeded following the regional round. The bracket will be played out from start of finish.
We can group these two classifications together because the format is the same for both. League champions earn automatic berths into the 48-team state tournament bracket. There will be just one automatic champion in mixed leagues that feature teams from both 4A and 5A. League champions will be seeded in the top 32.
Once league champions are determined, the remaining qualifiers will be determined by RPI. Those 48 qualifiers will be seeded through a formula that combines standings from RPI, MaxPreps and the coaches poll.
Higher seeds host all games through the Great 8 with the Final Four set for a return to the Denver Coliseum.