Here are the semifinal and championship matchups entering the final week of the Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls basketball playoffs, with some notes from section media director Will DeBoard.
Division I/II girls
Tuesday at Spanos Center, University of the Pacific
4 p.m.: No. 6 Oak Ridge vs. No. 2 Armijo
5:30: No. 4 Kennedy vs. No. 1 Pleasant Grove
7:30: No. 7 River City vs. No. 3 McNair
9: No. 4 Florin vs. No. 1 St. Mary's
Division III boys/girls
Tuesday at Cosumnes River College
4 p.m. (girls): No. 4 Vanden vs. No. 1 Sacramento
5:30 (girls): No. 3 Modesto Christian vs. No. 2 Christian Brothers
7:30 (boys): No. 3 Center vs. No. 2 Sierra
9 (boys): No. 4 Lindhurst vs. No. 1 Foothill
Division I/II boys
Wednesday at Power Balance Pavilion
4 p.m.: No. 5 Bethel vs. No. 1 Sheldon
5:30: No. 6 Pleasant Grove vs. No. 2 Jesuit
7:30: No. 4 Bella Vista vs. No. 1 Antelope
9: No. 7 Lodi vs. No. 3 McNair
Division IV boys/girls
Wednesday at Tokay High School
4 p.m. (girls): No. 3 West Campus vs. No. 2 Colfax
5:30 (girls): No. 4 Bear River vs. No. 1 Calaveras
7:30 (boys): No. 5 Calaveras vs. No. 1 Modesto Christian
9 (boys): No. 7 Ripon vs. No. 3 Riverbank
Division V boys/girls
Wednesday at Galt High School
4 p.m. (girls): No. 4 Capital Christian vs. No. 1 Brookside Christian
5:30 (boys): No. 4 Sacramento Waldorf vs. No. 1 Capital Christian
7:30 (girls): No. 3 Ripon Christian vs. No. 2 Turlock Christian
9 (boys): No. 3 Ripon Christian vs. No. 2 Central Catholic
Division VI boys/girls
Thursday at Galt High School
6 p.m. (girls): No. 2 Wilton Christian vs. No. 1 Victory Christian.
8 p.m. (boys): No. 2 Sacramento Adventist vs. No. 1 Victory Christian
Three teams have reached the 70-win totals in playoff history this year. Colfax and St. Mary's girls remain tied for the most all-time wins with 71 after both won their first two games. Jesuit reached the 70-win plateau with a second-round victory.
The Colfax girls broke a tie with Bret Harte for the most consecutive playoff appearances with their 31st straight appearance (1982-2011). Meanwhile, Foothill boys moved into a tie for second with 21 straight playoff appearances, two short of the record set by Sonora from 1985 to 2007.
Center's Ray Gagnon is trying to join a short list of coaches who have guided both boys and girls teams to section titles. Paul Gonzalez (who now assists son Dave as the Bella Vista boys coach) did it at Roseville, Harvey Tahara at McClatchy, Mike Ruble at Bradshaw Christian and Joey Rollings at Sheldon.
Sophomore scoring sensation Tiara Tucker of Brookside Christian scored 38 points in her first playoff contest this year, adding to last year's 118 total for 156 points in five games for a 31.2 ppg scoring average. The all-time career scoring average leader is former Del Campo star Danielle Viglione with a 27.4 mark over nine games.
High-scoring Chris Schwartz-Edmisten (No. 1 in the state and No. 6 nationally at 34.4 ppg) of Sacramento Waldorf has a shot at 200 points for the boys. Schwartz-Edmiston scored 139 points in seven games (19.9 ppg) leading up to this season. He poured in 30 in the opener to reach 169. He has at least one more game to play and possibly two.
83.1 percent (more than four out of five) of the higher seeded teams have been victorious, which is above the norm but slightly behind the results from the past two years. Here are the winning percentages of the higher seeds for the past five years: 2011 - 85.0; 2010 - 83.4; 2009 - 80.2; 2008 - 78.1; 2007 - 76.8.
Only four of last year's champions remain alive in the tournament. Last year that number was eight at this juncture. On the boys side, only Sheldon (D-1) is still alive. On the girls side, St. Mary's (D-2), Sacramento (D-3) and Modesto Christian (D-4, last year they won D-5) are still playing.
There is only one possible repeat finals matchup. Boys: D-1 - Sheldon-Jesuit.
Seven different schools have both their boys and girls teams still playing. They are Pleasant Grove, McNair, Modesto Christian, Calaveras, Capital Christian, Ripon Christian and Victory Christian.
Twenty-three of the 44 remaining teams have never won a section title in basketball. They are: boys - Bethel, Pleasant Grove, Antelope, McNair, Lodi, Lindhurst, Sierra, Ripon, Capital Christian, Sac Waldorf and Sac Adventist; girls - Pleasant Grove, Armijo, Florin, McNair, River City, Vanden, West Campus, Brookside Christian, Capital Christian, Turlock Christian, Victory Christian and Wilton Christian.
Twelve of those 23 non-championship squads have never made an appearance in the finals. They are: boys - Bethel, Pleasant Grove, McNair, Lodi, Lindhurst and Sacramento Adventist. girls - Pleasant Grove, Armijo, McNair, River City, West Campus and Victory Christian.
There will be at least one first-time section winner. Victory Christian and Wilton Christian will square off in the D-6 girls final. Neither has ever won a section title.
The semifinalists with the least number of total championships won is D-2 boys where Bella Vista has won one section title and the other three are all winless. Of the other three (Lodi, McNair and Antelope), only Antelope has been to a section title game.
Three of the top four boys teams with the most championships won are still alive in the tournaments, and all four of the top championship winning teams are alive among the girls. For the boys, it is Modesto Christian (13 titles), Ripon Christian (nine) and Jesuit (eight). For the girls, it is St. Mary's (12), Ripon Christian (11), Bear River (10) and Colfax (nine).
The Sheldon boys are looking for their third consecutive championship and fourth in six years. The Huskies, Jesuit and Pleasant Grove have history on their side as well: A team from the Delta River League has won the D-1 boys championship each of the last five years. At least one of the three is guaranteed to make the finals. Bethel is the fourth member of the Final Four. The Jaguars, along with Pleasant Grove, have never been to the finals.
In D3, a pair of Pioneer Valley League schools, Foothill and Center, are in opposite brackets, hoping for a league rematch (Foothill won both meetings this year) and title rematch from 2004 (won by Center, 53-52).
Sacramento Adventist boys will play in its first championship event ever while Victory Christian will go for title No. three in the D6 final at Galt High School.
If Pleasant Grove and Oak Ridge reach the D-I girls finals, it will be a Delta River League-fest, which includes at least one boys team vying in the boys D1 title. If Pleasant Grove and Armijo make the finals, it will be pair of teams with no finals experience. If it's Kennedy (four titles in seven trips) and Oak Ridge (three titles in six trips), it will be pair of frequent visitors to the finals.
The top-seeded St. Mary's girls are seeking a second straight D2 title after winning three straight D3 championships, which adds up to an 18-game winning streak in the playoffs. The Rams face a Florin program looking for its first finals appearance. In the other half bracket are two teams with no finals experience. McNair and River City will vie for a shot at their first title.
The top-seeded Sacramento girls are trying to make the finals for the ninth straight year; the Dragons are facing off against a Vanden team that is seeking its first section title. The other semifinal features Modesto Christian, a team that has been in the finals six straight years with five titles to its credit. The Crusaders are moving up a division based on their past success. The Crusaders will take on Christian Brothers, a team that has been in the semifinals three straight years without making the finals. The Falcons did win it all four years ago.
Two of the winningest programs in girls history are in opposite brackets and could meet in the finals. They are also league opponents - Bear River (62-12 all-time with 10 titles) and Colfax (71-21 all-time with nine titles). Bear River will have to get past No. 1 seed Calaveras, a D4 runner-up last year. Colfax takes on West Campus, a team that has never been to the finals. In fact, the Warriors only have five postseason wins in their history.