MODESTO — The committee filling the bracket for the inaugural Open Division regional playoffs selected only seven teams on Sunday, but Modesto Christian's boys were on the invitation list.
The Crusaders, who won their 15th Sac-Joaquin Section title on Friday, were granted the No. 6 seed and will open play Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Chabot College against Bishop O'Dowd.
It will be a rematch of a game played Feb. 9 in Salida in which O'Dowd defeated MC 71-62.
In all, six boys' and three girls teams from the Stanislaus District qualified for the NorCal regional event. Three boys' teams Sierra in Division 3, Summerville's Division 4 boys section champion, and Division 5 Central Catholic will open with home games on Wednesday.
Sierra, which fell to Modesto Christian in the Division 3 section final, grabbed the No. 4 seed at the NorCal level, which means a first-round victory over Shasta would garner the Timberwolves a second-round home game.
Summerville fell one spot short of a guaranteed second-round home game. The Bears, as a No. 5 seed, open at home against Orland. Also in Division 4, Riverbank was slotted in the final spot of the 14-team bracket and will open at No. 3 Marin Catholic.
Central Catholic's boys, despite losing in the semifinal round in section play, are seeded No. 6 in Division 5 and will host Alma Heights. Also in Division 5, Ripon Christian will travel to Redding to face Liberty Christian.
No girls team from the district was seeded high enough to warrant a first-round home game.
Modesto Christian is seeded No. 11 in Division 3 and will open at Burlingame. That game will be a 6 p.m. tipoff as the first game of a doubleheader.
In Division 5, Ripon Christian is seeded No. 11 and will open at San Dominico of San Anselmo, while Turlock Christian is a No. 12 seed and will travel to Watsonville to face St. Francis.
Second-round games in Divisions 1-5 will be played Saturday, with semifinals in all divisions set for March 12.
Unlike Sac-Joaquin Section play, which plays all semifinals and finals on neutral sites, only the NorCal finals will be played away from host schools.
Ticket prices through the semifinal round, as set by the State CIF, are $9 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and students with valid student body cards. If the game is part of a boys and girls doubleheader, all ticket prices are $1 more.
The NorCal finals will be played at two different locations. The March 16 championship games in the Open Division as well as Divisions 1 and 2 will be played at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
The finals for Divisions 3-4-5 will be played at American Canyon High School, located on Highway 29 between Vallejo and Napa.
The state championship games will be played March 22-23 at Sleep Train Arena.