The 2019 CIF-Southern Section boys’ basketball playoffs, armed with a new format to determine the Open Division titlist, begin Feb. 6 with wild-card play and conclude with championships in ten divisions on Feb. 23.

Altogether, 26 Catholic schools teams are in the playoff mix, including league champions St. John Bosco and Mater Dei (Trinity co-champs), Bishop Montgomery (Del Rey), Cathedral (Camino Real), St. Bonaventure and Santa Clara (Tri-Valley co-champs), Salesian (Santa Fe), Providence/Burbank (Prep) and Villanova (Frontier).

Open Division: In the two four-team round-robin that begin Feb. 8, the A Bracket matches No. 8 Bishop Montgomery with No. 1 Rancho Christian, and No. 5 Etiwanda with No. 4 Rancho Verde. In the B Bracket, No. 7 Mater Dei plays No. 2 Sierra Canyon, and No. 6 St. John Bosco plays No. 3 Centennial/Corona.

Subsequent rounds take place Feb. 12 and 15, and the winners of each bracket (based on best overall record) meet in the finals Feb. 23. A two-way tie for best record would be solved by head-to-head result; the winner of a three-way is determined by its “quality of opponent” wins based on seeding.

Other divisions: All games listed below are first-round matches on Feb. 7 except (as noted) for Division 5A. They include:

  • Division 1: Alemany at St. Anthony, Serra/Gardena at Loyola, J.Serra at Roosevelt, Santa Margarita at Edison, Crespi at Calabasas.
  • D-2AA: Bonita at Cathedral, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks at Temecula Valley, Chaminade at Pete Knight.
  • D-2A: Bishop Amat at Peninsula.
  • D-3AA: Paraclete at Cerritos, La Salle at Oxnard, St. Francis at Marina.
  • D-3A: Corona at St. Bonaventure, Pioneer at Mary Star, Rowland at Salesian.
  • D-4AA: St. Monica at Holy Martyrs.
  • D-4A: Foothill Tech at No. 1 seed Providence/Burbank, Wiseburn Da Vinci at St. Monica Academy.
  • D-5AA: Trinity Classical at No. 1 seed Santa Clara.
  • D-5A wild-card game on Feb. 6: Orange County Christian at St. Michael’s Prep. First round on Feb. 8: New Roads vs. Shandon winner at Villanova Prep.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

Start your day with Always Forward, our award-winning e-newsletter. Get this smart, handpicked selection of the day’s top news, analysis, and opinion, delivered to your inbox. Sign up absolutely free today!