I figured I'd beat the NHIAA to it. The regular season wrapped up on Friday night for the teams in D-II girls basketball. Here is what the bracket looks like for the tournament, which gets started on Tuesday night with the preliminary round at the home of the higher seeded team.
#1 Portsmouth (18-0) vs. #16 John Stark
#8 Hollis-Brookline vs. #9 Oyster River
#4 Souhegan vs. #13 Timberlane
#5 Hanover vs. #12 Manchester West
#2 Merrimack Valley vs. #15 Windham
#7 Goffstown vs. #10 Bishop Brady
#3 Lebanon vs. #14 St. Thomas
#6 Pembroke vs. #11 Coe-Brown
There were four tie-breakers that came into play. Bishop Brady and Coe-Brown both finished 9-9. They didn't play each other in the regular season (which is surprising since they're located so close to each other geographically). So it went to the second tie-breaker, record vs. tournament teams (including those in a tie-breaker for the last spot). Brady went 7-9 vs. tournament teams, while Coe-Brown was just 4-9. So Brady is the #10 seed, while Coe-Brown is the #11 seed.
Hollis-Brookline and Oyster both finished 10-8. They split the two head-to-head meetings, so it went to the second tie-breaker. Hollis went 8-7 vs. tournament teams, while Oyster River went 8-8, so Hollis gets the #8 seed, and will play at home vs. #9 seed Oyster River in the prelims.
Hanover and Souhegan both finished 14-4. But Souhegan won the regular season meeting, so the Sabers are the #4 seed, while Hanover is the #5 seed. That seeding could be crucial if they match-up in the quarterfinals.
The final tie was for the #16 seed, between Kingswood and John Stark. They didn't play in the regular season, so it went to record vs. tournament teams. Kingswood went 1-12, while John Stark went 2-12 vs. tournament teams. So the #16 seed goes to John Stark, who will play at #1 seed Portsmouth in the prelims. If John Stark beats Portsmouth it would be a monumental upset.
What would not be a monumental upset however, is if #15 seed Windham beats #2 seed Merrimack Valley. Windham played a tough schedule, they had a number of close losses and they are a young team that is rapidly improving. Don't be surprised if they beat MV.
This should be a fun tournament. Obviously Portsmouth is the favorite, but they are beatable and there are a bunch of other dangerous teams in this division. Oyster River, St. Thomas and Windham (each are lower seeded teams) all played Portsmouth tough late in the season.