You sometimes hear grumbling about Nebraska’s wild card qualifying system and its efficiency – or inefficiency.
Happy and relieved players, coaches and fans in Albion, Petersburg and Newman Grove believe it works just fine, thank you.
Boone Central/Newman Grove, Class C1 state tournament finalist in 2013, preseason #1 in the Omaha World-Herald and #1 again entering sub-district tournaments a week ago, found its season on the brink after an upset loss to Mid-State Conference rival Norfolk Catholic in the C1-8 Sub-District final.
After suffering through the ‘waiting game’ this past weekend, all turned out well for the Cardinals following Monday’s district finals. BC/NG, 5th in the Nebraska School Activities Association C1 wild card point standings entering the evening, remained in that position after Monday night’s shuffling and unofficially claimed the first C1 wild card for the 2014 Nebraska State Basketball Tournament.
Next stop, Lincoln. It’s a new season now.
Although the NSAA had not released the official state tournament field or brackets at the Albion News deadline Tuesday, updated wild card points had been posted.
District champions Columbus Scotus (21-4, 44.9200 wild card pt. avg.), Wayne (23-4, 44.5926), Wahoo Neumann (19-6, 44.2800) and Falls City (24-2, 44.2692) were listed as the top four teams in the point standings Tuesday morning.
Boone Central/Newman Grove (19-6, 44.2400) and Wahoo (20-5, 44.2000) were 5th and 6th and would, unofficially, receive the C1 wild card berths. Additional district champions qualifying Monday night were Cozad (17-8, 42.6800) and Kearney Catholic (15-11, 41,6923).
At least one of the Class B-D district finals to be played Tuesday night could still affect the points of several C1 schools. It appeared, unofficially, that Boone Central/Newman Grove could play either Wahoo Neumann or Falls City in the first round of the state tournament Thursday, March 13.
The Albion News will have official state tournament brackets, along with game locations and times next week.