The Bishop O'Dowd High boys and the St. Mary's girls received No. 1 seeds for the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division basketball playoffs as brackets for all divisions were announced Sunday.
The Open Division playoffs for boys feature just six teams, short of the maximum of eight. But both Newark Memorial, the North Coast Section Division II champion, and NCS Division III runner-up El Cerrito were selected to play in the Open Division.
In the first round Friday, Newark Memorial, seeded fourth, will host No. 5 Modesto Christian, with the winner advancing to face Bishop O'Dowd.
Sixth-seeded El Cerrito plays at No. 3 Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, with the winner playing at No. 2 Capital Christian-Sacramento.
Like Newark Memorial, El Cerrito arguably would have been the favorite to advance to the state championship game had it stayed in its own division. But Gauchos coach Michael Booker said his team wasn't going to shy away from the increased competition.
"To be the best, you have to play the best," Booker said, "and we're definitely facing the best teams."
The Open Division playoffs for girls has eight teams with a fifth game this season between St. Mary's and Salesian looming in the second round.
St. Mary's hosts Sacramento on Friday, and No. 4 Salesian plays at No. 5 St. Ignatius-San Francisco in its first-round game. St. Mary's beat Salesian, its Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division rival, for the NCS Division IV title on Saturday.
In other first-round Open Division games, Carondelet, the No. 2 seed, hosts No. 7 Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco and sixth-seeded Miramonte plays at No. 3 St. Mary's-Stockton.
The Monte Vista boys, NCS Division I champions, received the No. 1 seed in Division I and a first-round bye. The Mustangs, who had the option of playing in the Open Division, will host a game Saturday against the winner of Wednesday's game between Fremont-Oakland and Bellarmine-San Jose.
Freedom received the No. 3 seed in Division I and a first-round bye as well, and will play either Rodriguez-Fairfield or Menlo-Atherton in the second round.
Newark Memorial and El Cerrito's selection to the boys Open Division bracket meant the seasons were still alive for Las Lomas and Miramonte, which both lost in the quarterfinals of the section playoffs,
Las Lomas, a Division II team like Newark Memorial, will play at Leigh-San Jose on Wednesday. Miramonte, a Division III team like El Cerrito, plays at Fairfield in its first-round game.
The Moreau Catholic boys, who captured their first NCS Division IV title Saturday, received the No. 1 seed for the Division IV playoffs. Salesian, the team the Mariners beat, is No. 2.
St. Joseph Notre Dame, the defending Northern California champion, is the No. 2 seed in Division V behind Central Catholic of Modesto.
Deer Valley received the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye for the Division I girls bracket. The Wolverines will host either North Salinas or Santa Rosa on Saturday at 6 p.m.