UPDATED Feb. 19 12:05 p.m. – Corrects Conway-Bryant tiebreaker.
With one week left, all but two playoff berths have been clinched, but where those teams will be seeded will be decided over the next two games. Here is a brief (but not comprehensive) look at playoff scenarios and potential seeding for the two 7A conferences:
7A-Central Boys – North Little Rock has earned a first-round bye and will clinch the 1 seed with a win or a Cabot loss. The Northside-Cabot winner on Tuesday is the likely 2 seed (earning a first-round bye) with the loser becoming the third seed. Cabot can win the top seed by winning out and NLR loses its last two games (Cabot must beat NLR by 5 points or more to control the tiebreaker). Little Rock Central is locked in as the 4 seed. Conway and Bryant are tied for fifth and will play on Friday.
Bryant Conway won the first meeting (58-52).
7A-West Boys – Springdale Har-Ber and Bentonville are tied at 10-2. Har-Ber own the tiebreaker over Bentonville because of the season sweep. Bentonville officially has a first-round bye because of a sweep over Van Buren. Har-Ber needs to win one of its last two games to officially clinch a bye. Van Buren is the likely 3 seed, but if the Pointers win out (including beating Har-Ber on Tuesday) and Har-Ber loses out then Van Buren could claim a first-round bye. The crazy scenario would be if Van Buren wins out while Har-Ber and Bentonville loses out creating a 3-way tie at 10-4. Because of a perfect triangle of sweeps in that scenario (Har-Ber sweeping Bentonville, Van Buren sweeping Har-Ber and Bentonville sweeping Van Buren), the AAA tiebreaker points would then be used. Rogers Heritage (7-5) and Fayetteville are battling for the 4-5 seeds (Fayetteville owns the tiebreaker if the teams finished tied) Bentonville West (4-8) and Springdale (3-9) are battling for the sixth seed.
7A-Central Girls – North Little Rock and Little Rock Central are the top 2 seeds. NLR needs a win or a Central loss to clinch the top seed. Northside is the third seed with two wins this week while Conway is the likely 4 seed. Cabot is locked in as the fifth seed. Mount St. Mary needs a win or a Southside loss to clinch the sixth seed.
7A-West Girls – Fayetteville and Van Buren have clinched the top 2 seeds. Fayetteville needs a win Tuesday to clinch the one seed, because it controls the tie-breaker over Van Buren. Rogers and Springdale are tied (7-5) for the third and fourth seed and will meet on Friday to settle the seeding (Springdale won the first game). Har-Ber (5-7) and Bentonville (4-8) are battling for the fifth and sixth seeds.
This week’s Games in Class 7A
Tuesday February 21
FS Southside @ LR Central
Conway @ LR Catholic/Mount St. Mary
North Little Rock @ Bryant
Cabot @ FS Northside
Rogers Heritage @ Bentonville
Bentonville West @ Rogers
Springdale @ Fayetteville
Van Buren @ Springdale Har-Ber
Friday February 24
LR Central @ LR Catholic/Mount St. Mary
North Little Rock @ Cabot
Bryant @ Conway
FS Northside vs. FS Southside (UA-Fort Smith)
Bentonville @ Bentonville West
Rogers @ Springdale
Springdale Har-Ber @ Rogers Heritage
Fayetteville @ Van Buren