Central High as expected landed the top seed for the Central Section Division I boys basketball playoffs when brackets across five divisions were announced Saturday at the section office in Porterville.
But what was supposed to be a banner day for the section, with the brackets unveiled NCAA tournament style via a live webcast, turned into a debacle as heavy web traffic apparently overwhelmed the section site.
It made accessing the seeds and matchups difficult to impossible more than 90 minutes after the scheduled 2 p.m. release.
Ultimately, that won't matter to the Grizzlies, who finished the regular season 26-4 overall and 9-1 in the powerful Tri-River Athletic Conference. Central's nonleague wins included victories over the top two in the County/Metro Athletic Conference -- fourth-seeded and defending section champ Bullard and No. 6 Edison.
Central will be chasing its first-ever D-I basketball crown as the boys playoffs open Tuesday. Liberty is the No. 2 seed and TRAC runner-up Clovis East is No. 3.
Top seeds, except in the full 16-team D-III and D-IV brackets, have first-round byes.
Central on Thursday will face No. 8 Bakersfield or No. 9 Centennial.
The Grizzlies as the No. 2 seed were knocked out by No. 3 Clovis West in the semifinals a year ago, with the Golden Eagles winning 68-58.
Bullard got little respect in this year's seedings, its 2013 section title and 10-0 run through the CMAC in 2014 not enough to lift it past Liberty or Clovis East. The Knights, who did get a bye and will face No. 5 Stockdale or No. 12 Clovis on Thursday, were No. 2 in The Bee's final regular-season rankings.
Other top boys seeds went to Hanford (D-II), Roosevelt (D-III), Washington (D-IV) and Immanuel (D-V).
The other reigning section champions are Hanford West (D-II), Independence (D-III), Exeter (D-IV) and Tranquillity (D-V).
Hanford is No. 1 in Division I girls, with Clovis West, Centennial and Edison earning seeds 2 through 4.
Top seeds also were awarded to Garces (D-II), Selma (D-III), Lindsay (D-IV) and Immanuel (D-V), with the girls playoffs getting under way Wednesday.
Defending girls champions are Clovis West (D-I), Ridgeview (D-II), Hanford West (D-III), Lindsay (D-IV) and Immanuel (D-V).
Teams will look to complete a two-week sprint that culminates with the two-day run of section championship games March 7-8 at Selland Arena.