The district tournaments are set and the regional round of the playoffs are a week-and-a-half away. We thought it might be interesting to try our hand at some “Bracketology” and try to determine the shape of the regional playoffs.
This year is different as the regional round will be “re-seeded” at the end of the district tournament and will include results from both the last week of the season as well as the district tournament. In the past, rankings at the end of the next to last week of the season, the last week for district play, was used for district seeding purposes as well as to determine the at-large seeds.
We used assumptions to get to the brackets. We based them on the idea that the district tournament will play out as seeded, with no upsets. From there, we used the FHSAA rankings as of January 30th to help determine seeding.
The region is top heavy, a five of the top ten teams in Class 1A reside within Districts One and Two. Paxton out of District One is the highest ranked team at #3, given them the one seed. Jay is ranked second in the region at #6 but because they are also in District One we are assuming they will be the runner-up. Bethlehem out of Bonifay is at the top in District 2 at #8 while Chipley is just behind the at #9. Graceville Poplar Springs is #10 and will most likely jump Chipley should the Atomics win the playoff game against Chipley. The Region round would look this way:
One seed Paxton (#3) vs. Four Seed Chipley (#9) at Paxton
Two seed Bethlehem (#8) vs. Three Seed Jay (#6) at Bethlehem
Should both Chipley and Jay win, the final would by at Jay as they are the higher seed.
This region isn’t as top heavy as Region One, but has five teams bunched between 12 and 19, four of those in District Three. In that district, Sneads is the top seed and would be the top regional seed as well. Franklin County is the top seed in District Four. Those two are ranked 12th and 15th respectively. As it stands now, #14 Cottondale would get the three seed and play Franklin County while Blountstown, #18, would get the four seed and play district rival Sneads. Panama City Bozeman (#19) is currently on the outside looking in but that would change should it reach the District Three final.
One Seed Sneads (#12) vs. Four Seed Blountstown (#18) at Sneads
Two Seed Franklin County (#15) vs Third Seed Cottondale (#14) at Franklin County
Newberry out of District Six has the top seed as the #4 ranked team in the classification. However, Hawthorne is right behind them at #5 and with a stronger strength of schedule, it wouldn’t surprise if Hawthorne comes up with the district title. Fort White, also out of District Six and ranked #11, just beats out #13 Madison County of District Five for the final spot. It will be interesting to see which of those two. Fort White or Madison County, get the four spot.
One seed Newberry (#4) vs. Four Seed Fort White (#11) at Newberry
Two Seed Hilliard (#7) vs. Three Seed Hawthorne (#5) at Hilliard
Outside of #1 ranked Wildwood and #2 ranked Williston, both in District Seven, this region is incredibly weak and here we will probably see the first “Playoff Tweak”. Vanguard out of Lake Wales is the highest ranked team in District Eight at #26. However, that is lower than the top four teams in District Seven. In this scenario, even though Vanguard is a district winner, they would have to go on the road to play Wildwood while the top at-large teams, Williston and Trenton, would play each other. Chiefland is ranked #17 and would most likely get in should it reach the District Seven final.
One Seed Wildwood (#1) vs. Four Seed Vanguard (#26) at Wildwood
Two Seed Williston (#2) vs. Three Seed Trenton (#17) at Williston.