The Central Coast Section basketball playoffs have a new look this year with the addition of an Open Division. But the seedings, which were announced Sunday, had a familiar look.
"I don't know how much has changed,'' said Archbishop Mitty boys coach Tim Kennedy, whose team received the No. 1 seed in the Open Division. "The purpose of the Open was to get WCAL teams out of the top spots. But you look at Divisions I, II and III and you see WCAL teams at the top.''
Mitty, Serra, Sacred Heart Cathedral and Archbishop Riordan, all from the West Catholic Athletic League, received the top four seeds in the boys Open Division, followed by Palo Alto, Piedmont Hills, El Camino and Soquel. The only reason more WCAL teams weren't included in the Open was because the CCS ruled that no more than four teams from a league could qualify for the Open.
Bellarmine College Prep was seeded No. 1 in Division I and St. Ignatius No. 1 in Division III. St. Francis, the WCAL's seventh-place team this season, was seeded No. 3 in Division II behind Westmoor and Leigh.
On the girls side, the top three teams from the WCAL, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Mitty and St. Ignatius, received the top three seeds in the Open Division. Eastside Prep, from the West Bay Athletic League, received the No. 4 seed, followed by St. Francis, Wilcox, Pinewood and Lynbrook.
Open Division play begins Friday. Mitty, the two-time defending boys Division II state champion, will play No. 8
"I'm excited to play the best teams out of the whole CCS,'' Kennedy said. "It will solve the argument over which division has the best team.''
In the girls Open Division quarterfinals, the Wilcox-St. Ignatius and Mitty-Pinewood matchups are at Oak Grove. The St. Francis-Eastside and SHC-Lynbrook games are at Santa Teresa.
The Open Division finals take place at Santa Clara University on March 2. Quarterfinal losers will take part in a consolation bracket. All Open Division entrants automatically qualify for the NorCals.
Gunn, the defending CCS girls Division I champion, was seeded No. 1 in the all-public schools Division I field, followed by Santa Teresa, North Salinas and Piedmont Hills.
In another testament to the strength of the WCAL, Presentation received the No. 1 seed in girls Division II despite an overall record of 10-15 (4-8 in league). Westmoor, Westmont and Los Altos are seeded second through fourth.
Burlingame received the No. 1 seed in girls Division III with Branham seeded No. 2, Notre Dame-San Jose third and Mills fourth.