All but one of the Catholic high school basketball teams will open play next week in the boys’ and girls’ state tournaments, which begin Monday night. This year, the tournaments have an open format, so any team that wished to participate was able regardless of record. Forty girls teams are in the field, while 47 schools chose to take part in the boys’ event.
St. Elizabeth is the top seed in the girls’ tournament. The Vikings finished the regular season 10-0, with wins over the second- through sixth-seeded teams. St. Elizabeth received a first-round bye and will host the winner of No. 33 Middletown at No. 32 Hodgson on Wednesday at the St. E Center.
The fourth seed is Ursuline. The Raiders went 8-4 this year, with two of those losses coming to St. Elizabeth. They played one of the tougher schedules in the state. The Raiders will welcome either No. 37 MOT Charter or No. 28 Dover to Wilmington on Wednesday.
The Archmere Auks earned the sixth seed thanks to an 8-2 mark with losses to the top two seeds in the tournament, St. Elizabeth and Conrad. They await the winner of No. 38 Smyrna at No. 27 Polytech, who will play at Moglia Fieldhouse on Wednesday.
Saint Mark’s enters the tournament with a record of 5-8, with a point index that earned them the 22nd seed. The Spartans will visit No. 11 Brandywine on Wednesday. The Bulldogs finished the season 11-1 and won the Blue Hen Conference Flight B.
In the boys’ event, Salesianum received the No. 2 seed. The Sals wrapped up the regular season at 9-3, including a win over the top seed, Sanford. The veteran Sals received a first-round bye and will host the winner of No. 34 Indian River at No. 31 Laurel on Thursday.
St. Elizabeth is the seventh seed. The Vikings won five of their last six games to finish 6-4, with three of those losses coming to the top three seeds: Sanford, Salesianum and Howard. The Vikings will play either No. 39 Glasgow or No. 26 Polytech at the St. E Center on Thursday.
The 16th seed is Archmere. The Auks finished 10-3, with two of those losses coming to St. Elizabeth and Salesianum. Archmere hosts No. 17 Delcastle on Thursday at Moglia Fieldhouse. It is the Auks’ first postseason appearance since 2014.
Finally, Saint Mark’s returns to the tournament after a one-year absence. The Spartans, who earned the 27th seed, will host No. 38 Red Lion on Tuesday in a first-round game. Saint Mark’s finished 7-5, with one of those wins coming against the Lions on Jan. 23.
The girls third round will be held March 5, with the quarterfinals on March 8, the semis two days later, and the championship on March 12. The boys follow a day later for all rounds, playing on March 6, March 9, March 11 and the championship on March 13.
All of the games for both tournaments are currently scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the home of the higher seed through the semifinals. The girls’ final is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the 12th at the Chase Fieldhouse, and the boys are set for the next day at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association is recommending that each host school allow two fans per rostered player, although a few schools that did not allow fans all season may continue that policy into the tournament. The number of fans who will be allowed at the finals will be announced.
The DIAA is also encouraging each host school to make their games available via livestream. The semifinals and finals will be streamed on the NFHS Network.
The brackets are posted below.