Don't look now, but the YAIAA basketball regular season is rapidly approaching its conclusion. By the middle of next week, we'll know which teams will continue on into the postseason and which ones will turn their attention to the spring sports season.

While many teams have already stamped their tickets to the District 3 and YAIAA playoffs, several others will be left scraping until the final day of the regular season -- in this case, the cutoff for games to count toward a team's District 3 playoff resume is next Wednesday, Feb. 8.

What follows is a primer on the district playoff picture -- which teams are in and which ones are still fighting for a place. To make things as easy as possible, I've organized the playoff breakdown by classification.

More after the jump...



Class AAAA (Top 20 qualify) -- Three teams look like they're in. South Western (No. 5 seed), William Penn (8) and Dover (10) can move up the seeding ladder with a couple wins the next week-and-a-half. Dallastown (14) also like a safe bet to make the field.

Behind those four, there are three teams still fighting for a place. Red Lion (18) and Central York (20) are both on the bubble, while New Oxford (24) has some serious ground to make up. The Lions got a huge win over the Panthers on Friday -- made even more important by the fact that they finish their season with games against William Penn and South Western. Central York earned an important win over Carlisle on Wednesday, and finishes up with league games against Dallastown and Spring Grove.

Class AAA (Top 20 qualify) -- We see two YAIAA teams stacked together in the top half of the rankings: Northeastern (6), York Suburban (7). Bermudian Springs (11) and West York (12) also look like locks to get in, and both would benefit greatly by staying in the top 12. That would prevent them from having to play a preliminary-round game.

With a loss to Eastern York on Tuesday, Susquehannock (26) is probably out.

Class AA (Top 10 qualify) -- Two YAIAA teams have sat near the top the standings much of the season; York Catholic (1) and Delone Catholic (3). The Irish should stay there at least a few more days, courtesy of their big win over Berks Catholic on Wednesday. The two rivals play at Delone on Feb. 7 in both teams' season finale. That game should be a big one both from a district playoff and Division IV title perspective.

Hanover (7) also looks like a good bet to get in. And who knows ... given the thin state of Class AA, maybe the defending district champs can make a run.

Class A (Top 12 qualify) -- New Hope (2) looks like a contender here. The Mighty Ants seem as though they'll settle into that second seed behind Greenwood. Still need to get out to see New Hope in action.


Class AAAA (Top 20 qualify) -- Despite a stellar season that has included very few blips on the radar, Red Lion still finds itself stuck at No. 3, behind Reading and Wilson, respectively. Still, you have to consider the defending champions one of the favorites heading into this year's tournament.

Three teams are on the bubble: Dallastown (23), Spring Grove (24) and New Oxford (25). They'll all need strong finishes to sneak in.

Class AAA (Top 20 qualify) -- Lot of local teams in the mix here. West York (6) and Dover (7) look like strong bets to host games in the first round. The same cannot be said for Eastern York (9), which despite a 14-game winning streak continues to be weighed down by a poor strength-of-schedule rating. Kennard-Dale (11) and Susquehannock (14) also look like they'll be able to look forward to postseason basketball.

York Suburban (23) and Bermudian Springs (24) look like they could end up on the outside looking in.

Class AA (Top 10 qualify) -- Surprise, surprise, look who we find on to of these rankings. Once again, York Catholic (1) and Delone Catholic (2) look like the class of the district in their classification. Their return matchup at York Catholic next Tuesday could very well determine who snags that top seed.

Hanover (7) also looks like it should end up making the tournament field.

Class A (Top 12 qualify) -- No local interest in this field, unless New Hope (15) can somehow sneak in.


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