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D4 basketball playoff madness

February 4, 2008 - Chris Masse
Never this decade has the final regular season of the boys and girls basketball season meant more. Never before this decade has so much uncertainity about the upcoming playoffs existed.

Let's start on the boys side and look at the Class AAA field. Milton and Shamokin, both 21-2, will be the top two seeds. Milton has the tiebreaker because it has a better record against common opponents so the top spot is it's to lose. After that everything is a blur. The only teams have that have clinched spots so far are Danville (13-7), Montoursville (12-8) and Shikellamy (12-9). But as many as 10 teams might make the field and only two wins separates Danville, who holds the No. 3 spot right now, from No. 10 Mifflinburg (11-11). Jersey Shore (11-10), Central Columbia (11-10) and Mifflinburg all need one more win to qualify and none have easy games. Selinsgrove (11-8) is in good shape but could boost its seeding with a good final week and Athens (9-7) could do the same.

Projected Seeding: No. 1 Milton; No. 2 Shamokin; No. 3 Danville; No. 4 Athens, No. 5 Shikellamy; No. 6 Montoursville; No. 7 Selinsgrove; No. 8 Central Columbia; No. 9 Mifflinburg; No. 10 Jersey Shore

Class AA is a lot like Class AAA in that Hughesville and Wyalusing are in control of the top two seeds. Hughesville (18-2) can clinch the top seed with three more wins. Wyalusing (16-4) leads Wellsboro (15-5) by one game but also holds the tie-breaker because of a head-to-head win so it should at worst, earn the No. 2 seed. Following Wellsboro, though, it's anybody's guess what will happen. It looks like nine teams will make the field but No. 4 Mount Carmel (12-7) is only one win ahead of No. 8 Loyalsock (11-10). Southern Columbia (12-8) is on fire and is 10-1 since all-state center Colin Klebon returned. Lewisburg (11-9) needs won more win to qualify as does Loyalsock. Troy (12-9) is one of the hottest teams and could sneak into the No. 4 seed.

Projected Seedings: No. 1 Hughesville; No. 2 Wyalusing; No. 3 Wellsboro; No. 4 Southern Columbia; No. 5 Troy; No. 6 Mount Carmel; No. 7 Lewisburg; No. 8 Loyalsock; No. 9 Towanda

Class A is easy to figure out at the top but murky in the middle. North Penn (20-1) is the top seed, followed by Millville (19-3). Lourdes almost has clinched the No. 3 seed with its 17-7 record. From there, Sullivan County (15-7), St. John Neumann (13-8), Muncy (14-9) and Cowanesque Valley (12-8) are all jockeying for position. Benton is lurking as a dangerous No. 8 seed and Northeast Bradford (9-9) could slip in at No. 9.

Projected Seedings: No. 1 North Penn; No. 2 Millville; No. 3 Lourdes; No. 4 Neumann; No. 5 Muncy; No. 6 Sullivan County; No. 7 Cowanesque Valley; No. 8 Benton; No. 9 Northeast Bradford

In girls Class AAA, the field is starting to take shape but a lot could still happen which would cause some flip-flopping between teams at certain positions. Selinsgrove (20-1) will be the top seed, leaving Athens (18-5) and Midd-West (16-5) to fight for No. 2. Milton (13-6); Mifflinburg (14-8) and Shikellamy (13-8) are all battling for No. 4 while Shamokin (13-10) and Danville (11-9) are hoping to avoid Selinsgrove at No. 8.

Projected Seeding: No. 1 Selinsgrove; No. 2 Athens; No. 3 Midd-West; No. 4 Milton; No. 5 Shikellamy; No. 6 Mifflinburg; No. 7 Shamokin; No. 8 Danville

East Juniata (20-1) and Loyalsock (19-1) are fighting for Class AA's top seed and if they finish tied at 23-1 a coin toss will determine the top seed since common opponents would be a tie. Wellsboro (15-7) looks like it will earn the No. 3 seed, leaving Central Columbia (14-7), CMVT (14-7) and Lewisburg (13-8) battling for the No. 4 spot. Towanda is 12-9 and could help its cause with a good week, while Wyalusing (11-10) and South Williamsport (11-11) both need a win to advance. Wyalusing and South meet in South Saturday afternoon.

Projected Seeding: No. 1 East Juniata; No. 2 Loyalsock; No. 3 Wellsboro; No. 4 Central Columbia; No. 5 CMVT; No. 6 Lewisburg; No. 7 Towanda; No. 8 Wyalusing; No. 9 South Williamsport

Northeast Bradford leads NTL-East rival Sayre by half a game in the Class A race and will earn the top spot if it wins out. St. John Neumann and Benton are each 16-5 and are hoping to possibly vault Sayre (18-4) but that is a long shot. Benton and Neumann split two games so a coin toss could determine the No. 3 seed. Millville (13-8) and Mansfield (13-8) likely will be next in line followed by a logjam that includes Liberty (12-8), North Penn (12-8) and Montgomery (12-10). Lourdes should beat Weatherly to finish 12-12 and possibly become one of the most dangerous No. 10 seeds this tournament has ever featured.

Projected Seeding: No. 1 Northeast Bradford; No. 2 Sayre; No. 3 Benton; No. 4 Neumann; No. 5 Mansfield; No. 6 Millville; No. 7 Liberty; No. 8 North Penn; No. 9 Montgomery; No. 10 Lourdes

Should be a fun final week of the regular season. Let's call it February Madness.


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