The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released the final brackets for the 2020-2021 state basketball playoffs.
The Riverside (Martin County) boys are the No. 5 seed in the 1A East and will play host to No. 12 seed Gates County on Tuesday (Feb. 23), while the Lady Knights are the No. 13 seed and will make the trip to No. 4 Cape Hatteras for their first-round game Tuesday.
In addition, the Bear Grass Charter School boys, the No. 9 seed in the 1A East bracket, play at No. 8 seed East Carteret.
Six other teams in the region have also made the postseason.
Three Pitt County teams will be at home for the first round on Tuesday.
Both the D.H. Conley girls and boys will play on their home court Tuesday night.
The Viking girls, who drew the No. 2 seed in the Eastern 3A bracket, will entertain No. 15 seed Northern Guilford, while the Viking boys drew the No. 5 seed and will play host to No. 12 seed Southern Durham in the first round.
The other local team at home in the first round is the South Central boys, who drew the No. 5 seed in the 4A Eastern bracket and will play No. 12 Rolesville (a wild-card entry).
The other three Pitt County teams will be on the road in the first round.
Both Farmville Central squads – the defending Class 2A champions – have to travel on Tuesday.
The Lady Jaguars, the No. 9 seed in the Eastern 2A bracket, play at No. 8 seed Kinston, while the Jaguar boys are also a No. 9 seed and will travel to Ahoskie to play at No. 8 seed Hertford County in their first-round matchup.
Finally, the North Pitt girls, the No. 16 seed in the 2A Eastern Bracket, travel to No. 1 First Flight in the opening round.
Just 32 teams made the playoffs in each classification this year due to COVID-19, and one round of the playoffs has been dropped.
The second round is set for Thursday (Feb. 25), with the third round on Saturday (Feb. 27), the regionals on Tuesday (March 2) and the state finals on Saturday (Feb. 6).
Playoff brackets were partially predetermined this year across all sports that are traditionally seeded.
The only factors this year in who makes the playoffs are a team’s conference finish and conference winning percentage.
Each conference has at least one automatic bid to the playoffs. The number of automatic berths depends on the number of teams in a conference participating in that particular sport.
Conferences with 1-6 schools get one automatic bids; 7-8 schools get two automatic bids and 9-plus schools get three automatic bids.
Conferences were assigned to regions ahead of time, either east or west. Each region gets 16 playoff berths.
Any spots left over after the automatic bids were determined were filled by wild-card teams, based on the best conference winning percentages of the teams who didn’t automatically qualify. At-large bids were not determined by Adjusted MaxPreps Rankings as in years past.
Seeding was done on a random draw procedure, starting with conference champion automatic qualifiers, then all the second-place automatic qualifiers. The third-place qualifiers and wild-card teams were then drawn at random together and placed on the remaining lines.