The East boys, victims of a first round upset in last week's Cook Inlet Conference championships, will get a chance to defend their state basketball championship after all.
The East boys and Dimond girls each earned at-large berths to next week's state championships, giving Anchorage six teams in the Class 4A tournament that begins next week at Sullivan Arena.
The other at-large bids went to the West Valley boys and Soldotna girls. At-large bids are decided on Winning Percentage Index, which ranks teams based on their winning percentage, their opponents' winning percentage and the winning percentage of their opponents' opponents.
Not making the eight-team girls field was three-time defending champion Wasilla, ninth in the WPI rankings, one spot away from an at-large berth.
All of the other defending champions are back -- the Barrow girls and Monroe boys in Class 3A, the Hooper Bay boys and Craig girls in Class 2A and the Klawock boys and CIA girls in Class 1A.
Three Anchorage teams will play in the Class 3A tournament -- the Anchorage Christian boys and girls and the Grace Christian boys. Both ACS teams placed second last years.
Tournament play runs Monday through Saturday at Sullivan Arena, with 1A and 2A competition happening the first three days and 3A and 4A games happening the final three days.
For 1A, action actually begins Saturday with 16 play-in games that will determine which 16 team will make up the tournamentfield. Half of the games will take place at West, the other half at South, with games running from 8 a.m. till about midnight at each school.
March Madness Alaska
All games at Sullivan Arena
(except 1A play-in games)
First-round games Thursday, March 20
Class 4A boys
8 a.m. -- Colony vs. Thunder Mountain
9:45 a.m. -- Service vs. West Valley
3:30 p.m. -- East vs. Lathrop
5:15 p.m. -- West vs. Kodiak
Class 4A girls
11:30 a.m. -- Ketchikan vs. West Valley
1:15 p.m. -- East vs. Colony
7 p.m. -- West vs. Soldotna
8:45 p.m. -- Kodiak vs. Dimond
Class 3A boys
11:30 a.m. -- Bethel vs. Delta Junction
1:15 p.m. -- Sitka vs. Grace Christian
7 p.m. -- ACS vs. Houston
8:45 p.m. -- Monroe vs. Nome
Class 3A girls
8 a.m. -- Barrow vs. Valdez
9:45 a.m. -- Galena vs. Bethel
3:30 p.m. -- Mt. Edgecumbe vs. Nikiski
5:15 p.m. -- ACS vs. Seward
Class 2A boys
Monday's first-round games
8 a.m. -- Glennallen vs. Haines
9:45 a.m. -- Bristol Bay vs. Unalakleet
3:30 p.m. -- Hooper Bay vs. Dillingham
5:15 p.m. -- Metlatkla vs. Nenana
Class 2A girls
11:30 a.m. -- Glennallen vs. Craig
1:15 p.m. -- Unalakleet vs. Bristol Bay
7 p.m. -- Metlakatla vs. Nenana
8:45 p.m. -- Dillingham vs. Point Hope
Saturday's play-in games
8 a.m. -- Seldovia vs. Selawik
9:45 a.m. -- Noatak vs. Fort Yukon
3:30 p.m. -- Akiachak vs. New Stuyahok
5:15 p.m. -- Shaktoolkik vs. St. Mary's
11:30 a.m. -- King Cove vs. Alak
1:15 p.m. -- Toksook Bay vs. Golovin
7 p.m. -- Scammon Bay vs. Yakutat
8:45 p.m. -- Klawock vs. Nikolaevsk
11:30 a.m. -- Kiana vs. Huslia
1:15 p.m. -- Chefornak vs. Teller
7 p.m. -- St. Mary's vs. Kake
8:45 p.m. -- Akiachak vs. Koliganek
8 a.m. -- Shishmaref vs. Scammon Bay
9:45 a.m. -- Newhalen vs. Alak
3:30 p.m. -- Nikolaevsk vs. Buckland
5:15 p.m. -- Yakutat vs. Cook Inlet Academy
By BETH BRAGG