The Colorado High School Activities Association released the brackets
for the 2012 Class 5A and 4A boys and girls state basketball tournaments
during its Selection Show on Sunday.
The 48-team fields were
revealed by the state tournament selection committees, and first-round
play for boys will begin Tuesday (Feb. 21), while the girls get underway
the next day. The championships are scheduled for March 9 (girls) and
10 (boys) at the University of Colorado's Coors Events Center.
Class 5A boys,
(21-2), Fairview (Boulder)
(22-1), Chaparral (Parker)
(20-3) and Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
earned the top seeds in the bracket's four quadrants. Regis Jesuit (20-3), led by senior Tanner Samson
, is the three-time defending state champion.
Those four teams were the clear choice after Denver East
lost to Highlands Ranch
in a non-league finale Saturday. Perhaps the only surprise is that the
Angels dropped to a No. 3 seed in the John Casey Region behind No. 2 ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch)
Denver East beat the Grizzlies 44-41 in early January, although
ThunderRidge beat Highlands Ranch during Continental League play.
The 5A girls were led by defending champion Highlands Ranch
. The Falcons (19-4) will be after their eighth title since 2000 and are paced by the classification's leading scorer in Michaela Neuhaus
(23.2 points). Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
which finished runner-up last season, earned another top seed. The
Raiders (19-4) are on the opposite side of the bracket and would not
meet Highlands Ranch until the finals. The two played an overtime
thriller Feb. 4, won 51-45 by Highlands Ranch.Monarch (Louisville)
and Legacy (Broomfield)
played for the Front Range League title Friday in a game won 66-54 by
Monarch. While the Coyotes (18-5) captured league bragging rights, it
ultimately didn't matter for state seeding purposes. Both were awarded a
top seed, and Legacy (19-4) is on the same side of the bracket with
Highlands Ranch. The
Lightning handed Highlands Ranch its
only in-state loss (68-51 on Dec. 13).
girls have won the past five 4A titles, but the Eagles will have to pursue No. 6 as a No. 2 seed.
Colorado Springs Metro League champion Air Academy
and South Central League foes Pueblo South
and Pueblo West
three of the top seeds. Of note, Pueblo South (23-0) is the only team
in 5A or 4A - boys and girls - that still is undefeated.
The fourth spot went to Jefferson County League champion D'Evelyn (Denver)
. Supporters of Centaurus (Lafayette)
might wonder why the Warriors are a No. 2 seed, as Centaurus beat
D'Evelyn and both ended the regular season with 19-3 records.
Class 4A boys field is one of the deepest in recent seasons and
features three University of Colorado recruits among the top seeds. Sterling
won it last year behind Xavier Talton
. The Tigers beat Lewis-Palmer (Monument)
in the semifinals, and the Rangers return with the state's leading scorer in Josh Scott
. Scott averages 29.3 points.
The two will be future Buffs along with Wesley Gordon
of Sierra (Colorado Springs)
, and the Stallions also earned a top seed. Broomfield
rounds out four teams at No. 1.
The top four seeds in each quadrant receive first-round byes.
3A, 2A and 1A are competing in districts this coming week. The state
tournament brackets for 3A will be released Feb. 26, while Class 2A and
1A will advance to regional play at that point.Tournament BracketsClass 5A boysClass 5A girlsClass 4A boysClass 4A girls