NCS boys basketball bracketology

It’s the last week of the regular season in the North Coast Section, so let’s take a look at how the playoff brackets are shaping up. I’m not going to get into predicted the order of the seeding. If recent history is any indicator, the seeding will be completely unpredictable anyway. But I will provide an idea of who should be competing for a title when the playoffs begin next week. Remember, teams need to be above .500 (not at .500 like in football) in either their overall or league record or in games within the division (and for out of section teams, if the school’s enrollment would place them in their division, they can count those games).

Division I

Eligible: De La Salle 22-3, San Leandro 20-4; Deer Valley 19-5; Heritage 19-6; Monte Vista 19-6; Freedom 18-7; Logan 16-9; Granada 14-11.

That’s only eight teams (of an up to 16 team bracket) that are already eligible, but several others can get there.

Castro Valley 13-11, 5-6 WACC — Needs to win one of final two (Berkeley, O’Dowd)
Amador Valley 13-11, 4-8 EBAL — Needs to win one of final two (Cal, Foothill)
Berkeley 13-11, 6-5 WACC — Needs to win one of final two (Castro Valley, Mt. Eden)
San Ramon Valley 12-11, 6-5 EBAL — Needs to win one of final two (Livermore, Monte Vista)
Dougherty Valley 13-12, 4-7 DFAL — Needs to beat Dublin
California 9-13, 6-6 EBAL — Needs to beat Amador and DLS

Of those, I think Amador and SRV should get it done. Castro Valley probably needs to beat Berkeley, because I don’t see them beating O’Dowd. I give Berkeley a decent chance to split between CV and Mt. Eden. I’d call Dougherty Valley and Cal’s chances very slim. So, best case scenario, maybe a 12-team bracket with byes for the top four seeds.

Speaking of the top seed, I think it comes down to Deer Valley and De La Salle and is probably pretty simple. If Deer Valley beats Freedom on Thursday for the BVAL title, I think it gets the No. 1. The head-to-head win over DLS should carry the day. But if Freedom wins that game, I think DLS surges up to the top seed.


Eligible: College Park 21-4, Dublin 20-5, Montgomery 20-6, Concord 19-6, Mt. Eden 17-7, Newark Memorial 17-7, Ukiah 17-9, Las Lomas 15-10, San Lorenzo 14-10, Casa Grande 14-12, Pinole Valley 14-14 (5-2 vs. Div. II), Redwood 13-13 (4-0 vs. Div. II)

That’s 12 already eligible and you can pencil in Newark Memorial as the top seed, probably followed by Dublin. They’ve played the toughest schedules and Newark’s handled Dublin twice already. After that, several teams still have a shot to qualify.

Livermore 13-11, 3-9 — Needs to beat SRV or Granada
Washington 13-11, 7-5 — Needs to beat Newark or Irvington
American 10-14, 6-6 — Needs to beat Kennedy AND Moreau
Alameda 10-14, 6-5 — Needs to beat Piedmont or Hayward
Northgate 9-13, 6-5 — Needs to beat YV
Clayton Valley 8-17, 6-5 — Needs to beat Concord

I think Washington and Northgate definitely get there, Livermore and Alameda have a shot and it’s going to be tough for American and Clayton Valley, but no impossible. I think we end up with just 16 teams eligible (and if there’s 17 and one is Clayton, you’d guess that record won’t fly), so everybody should get in.


Eligible: Bishop O’Dowd 21-3, Drake 22-4, Hercules 21-6, Analy 19-7, Campolindo 17-7, El Cerrito 19-8, San Marin 18-9, Encinal 15-9, Tamalpais 16-10, Miramonte 16-10, Piner 14-10, De Anza 16-12

Unless I’m missing anybody (admittedly possible, but I don’t think I am), I see 12 teams that are eligible and no others that are within striking distance. So all of these teams get it and if there’s a couple I missed, they’d get it too. O’Dowd’s a lock for the top seed, with El Cerrito likely at No. 2.


Eligible: Cardinal Newman 24-2, Salesian 24-3, Gateway 16-3, Fortuna 21-4, Willits 21-4, Healdsburg 21-5, Arcata 20-6, Middletown 18-6, Marin Catholic 19-7, Lick-Wilmerding 17-9, St. Mary’s 18-10, McKinleyville 17-10, Piedmont 15-9, Moreau Catholic 15-9, Justin-Siena 15-11, Cloverdale 13-10.

Pretty straightforward as well it looks like. I have 16 teams eligible and no others within striking distance unless I’m missing someone (feel free to speak up). For the record, MaxPreps lists St. Patrick-St. Vincent as 15-13 but also credits them with beating Salesian last night. That’s our newspaper’s fault because the box score mistakingly shows SPSV winning that game 83-46, but that did not happen. Reverse that score. It was all Salesian, even with Jabari Bird apparently not playing. And yes, Salesian will be the top seed and heavy favorite to win NCS and move on to the open division for the state playoffs.


Eligible: Bentley 22-3, Head-Royce 20-4, Hoopa Valley 20-5, Urban 19-7, University 19-7, OMI 18-8, Stuart Hall 18-9, St. Joseph Notre Dame 17-10, St. Vincent 17-10, Branson 16-10, Athenian 15-10, Marin Academy 13-9, South Fork 14-11, Bay 12-10, Valley Christian 14-12, Emery 11-12 (8-4 in league), Calistoga 11-12 (7-5 vs. Div. V).

We finally hit some controversy. As of right now, there are 17 teams eligible. I’m not going to try to predict who gets squeezed down at the bottom. I haven’t followed those Div. V teams as much. But I will predict that St. Joe’s nabs the top seed and is again the favorite in this division.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • Very good article, Jimmy, but what about Division 6 (or did NCS cancel it)?

  • Yes, there is still Division 6. I ran short on time when I had to start working on a couple other stories so I didn’t get to it. But I’ll try to add it in later.

  • NorCal Wizard

    Campo gets no. 2 seed in D3-Beat El Cerrito by 14 at El Cerrito….

  • Eastbayhoops

    Livermore is 7 and 1 against Division 2 teams. Defeated American, Washington, Kimball from Tracy, Mt. Diablo, Hayward, Rancho Cotate and Alameda. Lost to Mt. Eden.

  • The Voice

    Watch out for the BVAL boys Freedom, Deer Valley and Heritage will make some big noise in the Div.1 brackets. And Eastbayhoops. Livermore may be 7-1 vs Div.2 teams but they only won 3 out of the 14 they played in the BVAL. Me, my neighbor and a couple of my nephews can beat some of those teams. They will get crushed by College Park in round one.

  • The Voice

    I meant Livermore has won only 3 of the 14 EBAL games they played.