By all accounts the 2022 boys and girls Nebraska state basketball tournament was a success. Six days and both boy and girls tournaments were born out of necessity due to Pinnacle Bank Arena hosting the Big Ten Wrestling Championships.
Looking ahead to the 2023 state tournament there are a few options of which format the NSAA board will approve.
Wednesday, a survey was sent to every athletic director, head boys basketball coach and girls basketball coach in the state asking for feedback on which option they prefer.
“We have done four different things in three years based on the circumstances,” NSAA Assistant Director for basketball Jon Dolliver said. “We had a lot of positive things based off of the things we’ve done in 2021 and 2022. We feel like it is an opportunity to survey our member schools and see what their feedback would be.”
One of the options is the traditional three day tournaments in separate weeks for boys and girls played at Lincoln high schools, the Devaney Center and PBA. Classes C1, D1 and D2 would play the first two days at high schools with C1 and B playing at Devaney while classes A and B would play at PBA in the first round. The C2, D1 and D2 semifinals would be played at Devaney on Friday and the championship games at PBA Saturday.
Four day (Wednesday – Saturday) tournaments are another option. This would be similar to the format used in 2021 due to Devaney not being available because the University of Nebraska would not allow on campus facilities to be used due to COVID-19.
The quarterfinal games for C1, D1 and D2 would still be played at Lincoln high schools with Devaney used for C1 and B quarterfinals and PBA for A and B on Wednesday. Thursday the semifinals for C2, D1 and D2 would be played at PBA. Friday semifinals would be played at PBA for A, B and C1 with all six championships at PBA on Saturday.
Another four day (Wednesday-Saturday) format for both tournaments would eliminate the high schools altogether except for the C1-D2 third place games. Wednesday’s quarterfinals in Class C1 and two in Class D2 would be played at Devaney, with two other D2 quarterfinals and Class A at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Two Class C2 and all D1 quarterfinals would be on Thursday at Devaney, with two more C-2 and all of Class B quarterfinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Friday semifinal games would be C2, D1 and D2 at Devaney. Classes A, B and C-1 would have their semifinals at PBA on Friday. All six championship games would be at PBA on Saturday.
The fourth option would be a six day co-mingled girls and boys state tournament on the same days or what was done in 2022. This would allow teams to play a day and take the next day off throughout the tournament.
Monday the high schools would host C2 boys, D1 boys, D2 girls, Devaney would be the site for C1 girls and B boys with PBA hosting B boys and A girls. Tuesday would have the high schools hosting C2 girls, D1 girls, D2 boys, Devaney C1 boys and B girls with PBA the site for B girls and A boys. Wednesday Devaney would be the host for C2 boys, D1 boys and D2 girls. PBA would be the site for A girls, B boys and C1 girls. Thursday Devaney would host C2 girls, D1 girls and D2 boys with PBA the site for A boys, B girls and C1 boys. Friday and Saturday would be championship games for A girls, B boys, C1 girls, C2 boys, D1 girls and D2 boys on Friday at PBA with Saturday championships at PBA for A boys, B girls C1 boys, C2 Girls, D1 boys and D2 girls.
Feedback from schools is being taken until March 31 and Dolliver will present results to the NSAA Board of Directors for feedback regarding the tournament moving forward.