The MPSSAA’s boys basketball region playoffs are set to get under way Friday, so let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing brackets involving area teams. The majority of the higher seeds earned byes for Friday’s opening round and will open their playoff runs Monday. The section finals are set for Wednesday with the region titles games taking place March 8. The four region champions will advance to the state tournament, which runs from March 16-18 at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center.
In the East region, a number of Anne Arundel teams spent the regular season knocking one another off in league play before No. 11 Old Mill beat No. 12 Broadneck to claim its third straight county championship. The Patriots (17-5) earned the top seed in Section I, while Broadneck (17-5) is the top seed in Section II. It creates an opportunity for a rematch for the region title, but No. 14 Annapolis (16-5), Meade (17-5) and Glen Burnie (15-6) are among the teams that could get in the way.
Perry Hall is the two-time defending 4A champions, but has fallen off a bit after graduation hits. The Gators are seeded second in the North’s Section I and will host Mervo in Friday’s opening round. Baltimore County rival and No. 9 Dulaney (19-3) are favorites to get out of the region.
Two-time defending state champion and No. 2 Poly (17-5) will open against a Baltimore City rival and then likely have to battle past teams from two different counties to come out of the South region. The Engineers, the first seed in Section I, will open against the City-Digital Harbor winner Monday. Prince George’s County power Oxon Hill is seeded second in the section with Great Mills from St. Mary’s County earning the top seed in Section II.
Much like the 4A East with the Anne Arundel teams, the East’s Section I in 3A is comprised of some evenly matched Howard County teams with county champion and No. 10 Atholton (19-2) earning the top seed.
Among area teams, the North region appears to be the toughest among all the classifications with Baltimore City champion and No. 1 Patterson (20-3), Baltimore County and No. 4 New Town (19-1) and Baltimore City runner-up and No. 6 Edmondson (20-3) all in the mix.
New Town and Edmondson are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, in Section I, while Patterson is the top seed in Section II.
Should the top seeds meet in the region title game, New Town would have the homecourt advantage over Patterson.
Last year’s state champion, No. 7 Lake Clifton, has dropped down to 1A this season.
In the North region, defending state champion Dunbar has company with Lake Clifton (18-4) now in the fold and the favorites as the top seed in Section II. The Lakers open against ACCE on Friday, while Dunbar, seeded third, travels to second-seeded Ben Franklin. Chesapeake-BC earned the top seed in Section I.