With just one week left in the regular season, most of the playoff berths in the spring sports (baseball, boys soccer, girls soccer, softball) have been clinched, but only a few seeds have been locked in.
Here a look at how the conference races will likely play out. This is not meant to be a comprehensive look at every scenario, but just a generalized ideal of what may (or may not) happen in the final week of the regular season. There should be a better idea of scenarios after Tuesday’s game.
7A-CENTRAL – Cabot is the top seed by winning out or just by beating North Little Rock Friday. Cabot can also clinch with a win over Northside and North Little Rock loss to Bryant on Tuesday. For North Little Rock to get the 1 seed, it needs to win both, including beating Cabot by 3 runs or more. If Bryant was to finish winning out and Cabot losing out, then a 3-way tie between Cabot, North Little Rock and Bryant would exist. If that scenario happens, Bryant would be the 1 seed and then the 2 seed will depend on North Little Rock’s win margin over Cabot.
Conway is no worse than the fourth seed but could take the 3 seed by winning out, including a win over Bryant (in that case, Conway would have swept the series). Catholic is locked in as the fifth seed. Northside is the sixth seed with a win or a Southside loss (Northside meets Southside on Friday. However, if Northside loses out and Southside wins out (including beating Northside by 2 runs or more), then Southside gets the 6th seed.
7A-WEST – Fayetteville is the top seed with a win over Van Buren. However, Van Buren can force a tie for first with a sweep of Fayetteville. In fact, a Van Buren sweep, a Springdale Har-Ber sweep (over Rogers Heritage) and a Bentonville sweep (over Bentonville West) will lead to a four-way tie for 1st place, which means three rounds of tiebreakers to settle to top 4 seeds.
Fayetteville, Van Buren, Har-Ber and Bentonville are the likely top 4 seeds. The lone exception is if Rogers sweeps and Bentonville is swept, then Rogers can become the 4 seed and Bentonville drops to fifth.
Springdale can be the fifth seed by sweeping Rogers, dropping the Mounties to sixth.
7A-CENTRAL – The top 3 seeds are Bryant, North Little Rock and Cabot. Bryant has already clinched a bye and is the 1 seed with a win in either of its last two games or if North Little Rock either of its last two games.
However, if Bryant loses its last two games, North Little Rock or Cabot could tie Bryant. If Cabot ties Bryant, the Lady Hornets are the 1 seed due to a season sweep of the Lady Panthers. If Bryant loses out, North Little Rock can be the one seed by beating Bryant by 5 runs or more.
Conway is locked in as the fourth seed. Northside has clinched a berth and can be the fifth seed with a win in either of its last two games. Southside earns a berth by winning out and could be the fifth seed by beating Northside by 4 runs or more. If Mount St. Mary wins out and Southside loses either of its last two games, then Northside is the fifth seed and Mount St. Mary is sixth.
7A-WEST – Bentonville is the 1 seed by winning out or by winning a game coupled with a Rogers loss. Rogers gets the 1 seed by winning out and Bentonville losing one its final two games.
Bentonville West and Van Buren are battling for the 3-4 seeds. Van Buren has four games this week and is a game behind West. West and Van Buren will meet in a makeup May 5 and that game could decide the 3-4 seed.
Heritage also plays Van Buren this week (Monday May 1) and can take the fourth seed and drop the Lady Pointers to the fifth seed. Springdale Har-Ber is the sixth seed with a win over Fayetteville.
7A-CENTRAL – Northside and Catholic are the top 2 seeds. Northside is the top seed by winning out. Catholic can be the top seed by winning out and Northside losing its last two games. If the teams fall into a tie, then tiebreakers will decide the 1-2 seeds.
Bryant, Conway and possibly Southside all can vie for the third seed. Bryant meeting Conway to end the season will likely decide the third seed. Central can be the fifth seed, but beating Southside this week will be the key to that. Cabot could still reach the postseason, but will need to win at least one of its final two games and get some help.
7A-WEST – Springdale Har-Ber is the one seed by winning out (since it swept Rogers). Rogers is the likely 2 seed with two wins in its last three games.
Springdale, Rogers Heritage and Bentonville are battling for the 3-4-5 seeds.
Fayetteville, Bentonville West and Van Buren all have shots at the sixth seed.
7A-CENTRAL – All six playoff berths are clinched. Cabot is the top seed.
Mount St. Mary, Southside and Central all have a shot at the second seed. Mount St. Mary controls the tiebreaker.
Conway and Bryant are battling for the 5-6 seeds. Conway can take the fourth seed by winning out and Central losing out.
7A-WEST – Bentonville is the 1 seed. Fayetteville has the inside track to the 2 seed but a loss can open the door for Springdale Har-Ber or Rogers to earn that first-round bye.
Rogers Heritage, Springdale and Bentonville West are battling for the 5 and 6 seeds.