The MIAA North, South and Central boys' basketball sectional pairings were released on Friday afternoon. With the release comes the reality that the 2014 boys' basketball South Division 1 bracket will be a gauntlet for the 20 teams that qualified.
For starters, the top-five seeds in the bracket all rank in the Boston Globe Top 20's top-10. Top-seeded North Quincy finished the regular season No. 6 after ranking No. 2 for much of the season, second-seeded Catholic Memorial has held the No. 1 spot in the Top 20 for several weeks, third-seeded Mansfield claimed the No. 3 slot in the Top 20 last week, fourth-seeded Needham finished the regular season at No. 10 in the rankings and fifth-seeded Newton North is currently slated No. 7 in Eastern Mass.
Yet, only four of those five teams could potentially find themselves alive in the Division's quarterfinals. Needham and Newton North look poised for a 4 vs. 5 matchup in the quarterfinals. But this sectional tournament will come down to more than just five teams.
Also in the bracket is seventh-seeded Wellesley, 10th-seeded BC High and 11th-seeded Brookline, all schools that ranked in Top 20 for multiple weeks this year. Lurking as the sixth seed is also Taunton that appeared in the Top 20 "next five in" several weeks as well. There is also a potential rematch between Quincy and North Quincy in the first round, too.
Come the end of March, there will be a winner crowned as the South Division 1 champions. That team will have climbed up a steep mountain to get to the top.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.