Here's a division-by-division look at the CIF Northern regional playoffs, which begin Wednesday.
WHO'S HOT: No. 2 St. Mary's-Stockton (25-4), No. 3 Carondelet (27-3), No. 7 Miramonte (28-1).
WHOM TO WATCH: Mariya Moore (Salesian), Gabby Green (St. Mary's-Berkeley), Mikayla Cowling (St. Mary's-Berkeley), Natalie Romeo (Carondelet), Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte), Kat Tudor (St. Mary's-Stockton).
INSIDE THE FIELD: Loaded with elite talent and battle-tested squads, the eight-team field is wide open. ... St. Mary's-Berkeley, which earned the No. 1 seed thanks to wins over St. Mary's-Stockton, Carondelet, Salesian and Sacred Heart Cathedral, could face nemesis Salesian for a fifth time this season in the semifinals. Salesian won the first three meetings, but St. Mary's got even in the NCS Division IV title game as Gabby Green returned from a shoulder injury and played tough defense on fellow McDonald's All-American Mariya Moore... St. Mary's-Stockton may be the hottest team in the field with 14 straight wins, despite losing two of its best players in the last two months. ... Miramonte vs. Carondelet is a tantalizing potential semifinal matchup as the two teams play a similar fast-paced, pressing style. ... Noticeably absent from the tournament is defending Open Division state champion Bishop O'Dowd, which was disqualified from the postseason for a scheduling error. The Dragons were a lock to be in this bracket before their disqualification... In two years of the Open Division, Miramonte remains the only non-private, non-charter girls team to be selected.
SLEEPER PICK: Salesian
PREDICTED CHAMPION: St. Mary's-Berkeley
-- Stephanie Hammon
WHO'S HOT: No. 1 Deer Valley (23-5), No. 8 North Salinas (25-2)
WHOM TO WATCH: Maranne Johnson (Deer Valley), Sierra Dixon (Deer Valley), Joeseta Fatuesi (Wilcox), Desire Finnie (Berkeley), Lily Wissinger (Monte Vista), Da'Ja'Nay Powell (McClymonds)
INSIDE THE FIELD: Berkeley High is seeded No. 4, but history says the NorCal Division I title runs through the Yellowjackets. Cheryl Draper's bunch has played in seven of the last eight NorCal title games, winning six of them. Last year, the Yellowjackts reached the state title game despite entering the tournament as the No. 12 seed. ... Deer Valley is looking to make school history and reach its first state title game behind the sharpshooting duo of Sierra Dixon and Maranne Johnson along with rebounding machine Alejandra Cephas. ... Utah-bound center Joeseta Fatuesi makes Wilcox a tough matchup on the bottom half of the bracket. ... McClatchy-Sacramento was hot to start the season with a victory over Open Division pick Sacramento High, but has lost three of its last six. ... Monte Vista was upset by Deer Valley in the NCS semifinals, but the Mustangs remain a dangerous squad. Junior Amanda Daily has hit a school record 81 3-pointers this season, and Lily Wissinger has blossomed in her senior year.
SLEEPER PICK: Monte Vista
PREDICTED CHAMPION: Deer Valley
-- Stephanie Hammon
WHO'S HOT: No. 2 McNair-Stockton (26-4), No. 5 Lynbrook-San Jose (20-8)
WHOM TO WATCH: Kelli Hayes (Archbishop Mitty-San Jose), Mandy Coleman (McNair), Kayla Taylor (Clayton Valley Charter), Sara Dyslin (Lynbrook), Lauren Heyn (Del Oro-Loomis), Milan Moses (Dublin)
INSIDE THE FIELD: Perennial power Mitty lost in the first round of the Central Coast Section Open Division, but then won two straight to win the consolation championship. ... Before its 53-52 loss to Sacramento in the Sac Joaquin Section Division II championship game, McNair had won nine straight games. ... Clayton Valley Charter has won 10 of its past 11 games since a 50-44 loss to No. 3 seed Presentation-San Jose on Jan. 25. ... Lynbrook has won eight of its past nine games, with its only blemish in that streak a loss to Division I No. 3 seed Wilcox-Santa Clara ... Chico is the No. 7 seed despite a 9-13 record.
SLEEPER PICK: Lynbrook
PREDICTED CHAMPION: McNair
-- Phil Jensen
WHO'S HOT: No. 1 Enterprise-Redding (26-2), No. 2 Modesto Christian (23-8), No. 5 Valley Christian-San Jose (15-13)
WHOM TO WATCH: Kamira Sanders (Enterprise), Lexi Tubbs (Modesto Christian), Destiny Kelly (Encinal), Dalayna Sampton (Florin-Sacramento), Jessica Mitz (Valley Christian), Kayla Blair (Vanden-Fairfield)
INSIDE THE FIELD: If the seeds hold to form, the final could be a very good game. ... Enterprise has not lost to a Northern California team this season. Its losses have been to South Medford-Oregon on Feb. 8 and Camarillo on Dec. 31. ... All but one of Enterprise's wins since Jan. 1 have been by double digits ... Modesto Christian is also hot, having won eight in a row since a loss to Open Division No. 1 seed St. Mary's-Berkeley on Feb. 1 ... Modesto Christian barely beat No. 4 Florin 39-37 in the SJS Division III championship game. ... Florin had won six in a row before the loss to Modesto Christian ... Valley Christian broke an eight-game losing streak by winning three straight games and the CCS Division III title. ... Before a 45-38 loss to Florin in the SJS semifinals, Vanden had won 11 games in a row.
SLEEPER PICK: Florin
PREDICTED CHAMPION: Enterprise
-- Phil Jensen
WHO'S HOT: No. 3 Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento (20-6), No. 4 West Campus-Sacrameto (20-7), No. 5 Justin-Siena-Napa (25-6)
WHOM TO WATCH: Lauren Seyranian (Piedmont), Nadene Hart (Scotts Valley), Erika Bean (Bradshaw Christian), Barbara Keomany (West Campus), Angela Silver (Scotts Valley)
INSIDE THE FIELD: This may be one of the more wide-open divisions in the Northern regional playoffs, as any of the top six seeds have a chance to get to Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento for the state championship game. Top-seed Scotts Valley wasn't tested much in its league and enters the state playoffs with two straight losses, although one of them was a 43-41 loss to regional power Pinewood. ... Arcata is the top-ranked NCS team, with Piedmont at No. 6. Those two teams met Dec. 5, with Piedmont winning 72-32, so the Highlanders might be scratching their heads a bit as to why they are the No. 6 seed, although the loss to Justin-Siena in the second round of the playoffs didn't help. ... Bradshaw Christian has only eight players on the roster, but Erika Bean and Jordyn Bell are two of the Sacramento area's most dynamic scorers.
SLEEPER PICK: Justin-Siena
PREDICTED CHAMPION: Bradshaw Christian
-- Curtis Pashelka
WHO'S HOT: No. 1 Brookside Christian-Stockton (26-4), Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (26-3), No. 3 International-San Francisco (18-10)
WHOM TO WATCH: Haleigh Filer (Capital Christian), Teagan Manus (Ripon Christian), Nicole Colbert (Captial Christian), Kayla Frierson (Valley Christian), Ra'Kyra Gabriel (Brookside Christian), Destiny Graham (Eastside College Prep)
INSIDE THE FIELD: International is playing some of its best basketball of the season as they captured the NCS Division V title, upsetting top-seeded Valley Christian in the semifinals. But it appears the title will come down to Brookside Christian and defending Northern regional champion Pinewood, as both squads did schedule games against some of the best teams in Northern California. Brookside Christian is likely just glad to be back in Division V after is was an Open Division team last season, and had to play Bishop O'Dowd in the first round. ... Valley Christian is probably better than the No. 7 seed it received, but they're stuck on the same side of the bracket as Pinewood, with a game between the two teams looming in the second round.
SLEEPER PICK: Valley Christian
PREDICTED CHAMPION: Brookside Christian
-- Curtis Pashelka