The North Coast Section playoff brackets are set as first round games begin on Tuesday

Kyree Walker of Moreau Catholic in Hayward is arguably the best freshman in the country. (photo by Ray Chavez)

By Section925 Staff

With league seasons wrapping up over the weekend, the time has come for Bay Area high school hoopers to battle it out for an NCS crown. A total of 96 teams will take to the hardwood starting on Tuesday with hopes of chasing down an elusive championship. From Division 1 down to Division 6, each field of 16 teams is full of talented players and teams that are sure to entertain, especially in the later rounds. Check out our preview below and get out to some games around The Bay to support your local team. We promise it will cost you less than a Warriors game. 

De La Salle's Justin Pratt splits Dublin defenders Tim Falls (#1) and Connor Jackson in one of their two matchups this season. (photo by Ray Chavez)

Division 1

Thanks to their overtime triumph over De La Salle in the East Bay Athletic League title game on Saturday, the upstart Dublin Gaels will hold the poll position in the Division 1 NCS bracket this season. The Gaels are led by electrifying guards Tim Falls and Connor Jackson, who have helped solidify the Gaels as an East Bay force who has the ability to score seemingly at will. 

Heritage High will be the no. 2 seed in the D1 bracket, while DLS will start as a 3-seed. De La Salle, led by first year head coach Justin Argenal, will open up their playoff campaign against Berkeley High, a team that wound up winning the NorCal Championship at Sleep Train Arena last season. 

If De La Salle wants a re-match with Dublin in the NCS finals, they'll have to get past Heritage on their side of the bracket, not to mention 6-seeded San Leandro, who has given DLS trouble in playoffs' past. Dublin, on the other hand, will have to get past teams like 4-seed James Logan and 5-seed Freedom, both athletic teams that could make a deep NCS run. 

Naseem Gaskin of Bishop O' Dowd

Division 2

In the Division 2 bracket, all eyes are on top seed Bishop O' Dowd and 4-seed Moreau Catholic. The two ultra-talented teams look to be on a collision course, meeting in a potential March 1st semifinal dream matchup. The O'Dowd Dragons are led by senior guard BJ Shaw (Brian's son) as well as backcourt mates Elijah Hardy (junior) and Naseem Gaskin (junior). Down low, the Dragons feature Raymond Hawkins, a 6'8" sophomore who has college coaches salivating.

Moreau Catholic is led by all-everything guard Damari Milstead (headed to Grand Canyon University) to go along with Kyree Walker, a 6'5", 200 pound freshman who many regard as the best 9th grader in America. Needless to say, to see Moreau and O' Dowd lock horns on March 1st would be a real treat.  

Derrick Langford (#5) and the rest of the Salesian Pride

Division 3

The class of the NCS D3 bracket is clearly Salesian of Richmond, who began the season celebrated as the best team in the Bay Area. The Pride haven't disappointed, proving their worth night in and night out. Jabari Bird's alma mater is led this year by junior guard Derrick Langford, one of the best in all of California.

On the bottom half of the Division 3 bracket, you'll find 2-seed Campolindo, 3-seed Analy, and 6-seed Miramonte. If the Matadors can earn a road win at Analy, it could set up an enticing showdown with Campo in the semifinals.

Jade' Smith (#5) helps hoist the State Championship Trophy in 2016. (photo by Keith Birmingham)

Division 4

The D4 bracket is led by St. Joseph of Alameda who currently stands at 27-1 on the year. Despite being a small school, the Pilots feature one of the most dynamic players in the state in Jade' Smith, who is headed to Pepperdine in the fall. He has a different game than ex-pilot Jason Kidd, but he can takeover in a similar fashion when his team needs him most. 

St. Patrick-St. Vincent is a dangerous 2-seed in D4, not to mention sharp shooting Marin Catholic at the 3-spot. St. Joes could very well run into some trouble by the time they reach the finals. 

Division 5

Cloverdale is your one seed in D5 this year, followed by Branson of Marin in the two spot. Look for 11-seed Oakland Military Institute as a potential sleeper pick. They are coached by Darrell Hiroshima Jr., son of the late Darrell Senior. 

Division 6

If you fancy yourself as a basketball junkie, look no further, the D6 bracket is there for you. Rio Lindo Adventist is your top seed, while California School for the Deaf comes in as a 2-seed. 

To take a look at all six 2017 NCS brackets, click here.