Class A Conference basketball tournaments (all two of them) were in the books right after the calender hit January, 2020, but the final countdown to the hoops post season is close at hand and it’s time to view the landscape of Nebraska’s largest Class entering the home stretch.
Each year at this time, we view how that landscape would appear if the season had concluded last Saturday.
Class A is the most difficult class to figure because of the serpantine system, and the fact the Wild Card teams 2 through 9 are within a single point of each other as we speak.
Only Bellevue West appears seperated from the remainder of the rest, being nearly a full point in front of 2nd place Millard North in the wild card standings. The two collide at Bellevue West this Friday night, one day before the Millard North makes the 137 mile trek to Grand Island to face national power IMG Academy from Bradenton, Florida in the 6:45 game of the 13th Annual Heartland Hoops Classic.
Millard North also has home games remaining on it’s brutal February schedule against Lincoln North Star (Tuesday, Feb.18th) and Omaha Central (Friday, Feb. 21st)
On the other side of the coin, Bellevue West has a much kinder closing slate following the Millard North showdown, with Lincoln High (3-14), @ Lincoln SE (12-7) and Millard West (7-9) remaining.
There are other remaining matchups that could alter the Class A basketball picture before post season play begins, and they are:
Elkhorn @ Lincoln Pius X (Tuesday, Feb. 11th)
Lincoln Pius X @ Omaha South (Saturday, Feb. 15th)
Papillion LV South @ Omaha South (Tuesday, Feb. 18th)
Creighton Prep @ Papillion LV South (Friday, Feb. 21st)
Lincoln Pius X @ Grand Island (Friday, Feb. 21st)
Omaha Central @ Omaha Westside (Saturday, Feb, 22nd)
And, a few questions yours truly is pondering over as the final two weeks of the Class A regular season get underway:
*Can Lincoln Pius X hold on to that #7 slot in the wild card standings?
*Will Elkhorn be able to cling to that #6 wild card spot, closing out the regular season with thee out of four remaining games versus Class B competition (Bennington 15-3, Ralston (7-10), Omaha Roncalli (15-4)?
*Is Papio LV South in position to grab one of those top seven wild card spots with a killer five game closing stretch that includes Millard North, Lincoln SE, Omaha South and Creighton Prep? (Bellevue East is also in there)
And now a look at the Class A post season formula, plus how the District standings in that class shape up as of Sunday, February 9th.
**(Class A schools will be divided into seven districts. The teams with the highest wild card point averages will have the opportunity to host districts. Class A boys districts will be Sat.- Mon or Sat.-Tues.
Districts 1,2,3,4,5 with five teams will start one day prior with the higher seeds playing on that day at the lowest seed.
All seven districts will be determined using a serpentine method (not modified), based upon the NSAA wild card point system within one week prior to the first district. a. The winning boys' team and the winning girls' team in each district will qualify for the State Championship. One additional boys' team will also qualify for the State Championship on the basis of the wild card team selection procedure.
The top 14 teams will have the opportunity to host the first night of district competition. The district championship would be hosted by the highest remaining seed. District dates and times would be established before district competition starts. Top seeded team in each district would be responsible for in establishing district schedules.)**
*District 1-Bellevue West (#1 Seed)
Game 1 (#5) Norfolk (6-12), 37.1667 at (#4) Lincoln High (3-14), 36.1765
Winner Game 1 at Bellevue West (16-2), 44.6111,
Kearney (10-8), 40.2778 at Columbus (10-9), 40.8421
Final @ Bellevue West
*District 2-Millard North
(#4) Omaha North (6-12), 37.8333 at (#5) South Sioux City (1-17), 35.9444
Winner Game 1 at #1 Millard North (17-2), 43.6316
#3 Gretna (8-10), 39.7222 at #2 Lincoln Southeast (12-7), 41.0526
Final @ Millard North
*District 3 @ Omaha Central
(#4) Lincoln Northeast (7-13), 38.2000 (#5) Omaha Bryan (3-17), 35.7000
Winner Game 1 at #1 Omaha Central (13-3), 43.2500
#3 Millard South (8-10), 39.5556 at #2 Grand Island (12-7), 41.5263
Final @ Omaha Central
*District 4 @ Omaha Westside
(#4) Lincoln Southwest (7-13), 38.3500 at (#5) Omaha Northwest (3-16), 35.3684
Winner Game 1 at #1 Omaha Westside (13-5), 43.1111
#3 North Platte (5-13), 39.5556 at #2 Lincoln North Star (13-6), 41.6316
Final @ Omaha Westside
*District 5-Creighton Prep
(#4) Omaha Benson (6-11), 38.6471 (#5) Fremont (2-16), 34.5556
Winner Game 1 at #1 Creighton Prep (14-6), 43.1000
#3 Omaha Burke (8-9), 39.2353 at #2 Papillion-LaVista (12-8), 41.7000
Final @ Creighton Prep
*District 6 @ Elkhorn
#4 Lincoln East (7-13), 38.6500 at #1 Elkhorn (14-4), 43.0556
#3 Bellevue East (8-10), 39.0556 at #2 Papillion-LaVista South (13-5), 42.6111
Final @ Elkhorn High
*District 7 @ Lincoln Pius X
#4 Elkhorn South (6-12), 38.6667 at #1 Lincoln Pius X (13-5), 42.7778
#3 Millard West (7-9), 39.0000 at #2 Omaha South (14-4), 42.7222
Final @ Lincoln Pius X
If all Class A Districts are captured by the top seven teams hosting (top 7 wild card point leaders), then the wild card selection at this time would be Omaha South.
Would the 2020 Class A State Tournament look like this?
(#1) Bellevue West vs Omaha South (#8)
(#4) Omaha Westside vs Creighton Prep (#5)
(#2) Millard North vs. Lincoln Pius X (#7)
(#3) Omaha Central vs Elkhorn (#6)
……..and we all know the chances of the above state tournament field materilizing are probably remote at best due to the fact Class A’s wild card picture could, and inevitably, will change the final two weeks of the regular season.