PIAA reveals tentative state basketball brackets for 2021, ’22 postseasons

Saturday, June 13, 2020 | 12:18 PM

The WPIAL will send only four Class 6A boys basketball teams to the state playoffs next season, according to preliminary brackets revealed by the PIAA.

That’s down from five qualifiers in the past two seasons and six in the 2017 and 2018 postseasons.

The WPIAL also would have one fewer qualifier in Class 6A girls, Class 4A girls and Class A boys but will gain two spots in Class 5A girls and add one spot apiece in the Class 5A boys, 4A boys and Class 2A girls brackets for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 state playoffs.

The PIAA board will vote on the newly revealed brackets Monday on a first-read basis. The brackets must be approved two more times at subsequent meetings to become official.

The bracket alignments and many first-round matchups are similar to recent years.

However, there are some changes.

Among them, in Class 4A girls, no longer must the WPIAL champion face a WPIAL team in the first round. Now, the WPIAL champion plays the sixth-place team from District 3.

The WPIAL boys and girls champions in Class 6A and 5A start the state playoffs against a team from District 3.

The WPIAL Class 4A girls champion also opens against a District 3 team, but the WPIAL 4A boys champion starts the state tournament against District 10. WPIAL Class 3A and 2A champions open against District 6.

WPIAL Class A champions play teams from District 9.

The dwindling number of Class 6A qualifiers from the WPIAL can be blamed on an increasing number of large schools in the east. The PIAA divides the state’s teams evenly into six classifications. As one school moves up in classification, another must move down.

For example, PIAA District 1, which includes suburban Philadelphia schools, will have 44 teams competing in Class 6A boys basketball next season, up from 39 the past two years. The WPIAL falls from 18 teams to 17.

The PIAA uses a mathematical formula to determine how many playoff spots each of its 12 districts should receive. In Class 6A boys, there are 123 teams. The WPIAL accounts for 13.821% of those teams.

The PIAA then determines 13.821% of a 32-team bracket. That equals 4.4228, so the WPIAL receives four spots.

District 1 will receive 12 spots in the bracket because it has nearly 36% of all 6A boys teams in the state.

Here’s a list of WPIAL qualifiers to the PIAA basketball playoffs, according to proposed brackets for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons:

Class 6A boys

4 qualifiers (down one)

Class 5A boys

7 (up one)

Class 4A boys

6 (up one)

Class 3A boys

7 (no change)

Class 2A boys

6 (no change)

Class A boys

5 (down one)

Class 6A girls

4 (down one)

Class 5A girls

7 (up two)

Class 4A girls

6 (down one)

Class 3A girls

6 (no change)

Class 2A girls

7 (up one)

Class A girls

6 (no change)

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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