State tournament brackets released for 5A, 4A boys and girls basketball

Valor Christian Sand Creek girls basketball

The 2016 state basketball tournament brackets were released Sunday for Class 5A and 4A boys and girls. (Kai Casey/

Playoff basketball is officially underway.

Saturday, the CHSAA selection committee released the boys and girls brackets for the Class 5A and 4A state tournaments.

And while the delay the 5A boys bracket was somewhat extended, it proved to be well worth the wait.

Defending 5A boys champion, Overland comes in as a No. 1 seed and is joined by Rangeview, Eaglecrest and ThunderRidge as the top teams heading into play, which will begin Wednesday.

Regis Jesuit, Doherty, Cherokee Trail and Chatfield round out the top eight teams as they all secured No. 2 seeds.

Early round games will be played at home sites with the Great 8 all coming in under one roof at the Denver Coliseum on Mar. 5.

The tournament will then move to Boulder, where the Final 4 and state championship games will be played at the Coors Events Center on Mar. 11 and 12 respectively.

The 5A girls bracket had some drama when it came to the No. 1 seeds. Lakewood edged out ThunderRidge as a top seed with the Grizzlies taking the No. 2 spot in the Tigers' region.

Highlands Ranch and Grandview earned No. 1 spots with their high level of play from this year with defending champion Broomfield taking the last top seed in the bracket.

Games through the Sweet 16 will be played at home sites before the Great 8 games are moved to the Denver Coliseum on Mar. 4.

The 5A girls Final 4 will be played on Mar. 10 at the Coors Event Center and the state championship will be decided on Mar. 12.

For the 4A boys, Jonathan Scott will look to add to his family's state basketball legacy.

The Lewis-Palmer Rangers come in as top seed in the 4A boys bracket and are arguably playing the best basketball in the state.

Valor Christian, Longmont and Pueblo West make up the other No. 1 teams in the tournament. After losing a strong senior class, defending champion Air Academy did not make the tournament this year.

The 4A boys tournament games will be played at home sites until the Final 4 begins at the Coors Events Center on Mar. 11.

For the 4A girls, Sand Creek will be out for redemption this year.

The Scorpions come into the 4A girls state basketball tournament as a No. 1 seed and are looking to complete the journey that they fell one win shy of only a year ago.

Valor Christian, Mesa Ridge and Longmont make up the other top seeds in the brackets. Valor Christian won the title last year, topping Sand Creek and claiming their first girls basketball crown.

Mesa Ridge earns a No. 1 seed after having a down year in 2015. The Grizzlies captured the 4A in 2014 and will look for their second championship in three years.

Since dropping the second game of the season, Longmont has been on an absolute tear, finishing the year with 21 consecutive wins.

The 4A playoff games will be played at home sites until the Final 4 and state title games, which will be held at the Coors Events Center.