The all-inclusive bracket for the 24 eligible Class A football teams was released by the NSAA on Saturday.
The top eight seeds are: No. 1 Bellevue West, No. 2 Omaha Westside, No. 3 Millard South, No. 4 Lincoln Southeast, No. 5 Elkhorn South, No. 6 Omaha Creighton Prep, No. 7 Lincoln East, No. 8 Gretna.
The first-round matchups are: No. 9 Kearney vs. No. 24 Lincoln Northeast; No. 10 North Platte vs. No. 23 Lincoln High; No. 11 Millard North vs. No. 22 Norfolk; No. 12 Fremont vs. No. 21 Papillion-La Vista South; No. 13 Columbus vs. No. 20 Papillion-La Vista; No. 14 Millard West vs. No. 19 Bellevue East; No. 15 Grand Island vs. No. 18 Lincoln Pius X; No. 16 Lincoln North Star vs. No. 17 Lincoln Southwest.
The first NSAA seeding committee met Saturday morning to decide the bracket. Committee members are Athletic Directors Jason Ryan of Papillion-La Vista, JJ Toczek of Lincoln Southeast, Jordan Cudney of North Platte, Dan Schinzel of Omaha Creighton Prep and Ben Ries of Norfolk.
Among other factors, they considered the NSAA points standings, coaches and media rankings of the 24 teams, common opponents, head-to-head results and replacement games to seed the playoffs.
The top eight seeds get byes while the others have games Oct. 23. The teams seeded Nos. 9 to 16 get home games.
The playoffs continue Oct. 30 with the Round of 16. Quarterfinals are Nov. 6, semifinals Nov. 13 and the final at Memorial Stadium at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 23.
Also Saturday were the first-round geographical-based brackets for the two eight-man classes. Thursday’s winners then will be put on a 16-team statewide bracket, seeded by their regular-season NSAA point averages, that begins Oct. 30.
Check out the full brackets below:
First round Thursday
North Central (4-4) at Burwell (8-0)
Arcadia-Loup City (5-3) at Amherst (5-3)
Hemingford (6-2) at Nebraska Christian (4-2)
Hitchcock County (6-2) at Elm Creek (7-1)
Elkhorn Valley (5-3) at Neligh-Oakdale (7-1)
Southern Valley (5-3) at Hi-Line (4-3)
Cambridge (3-3) at Sutherland (5-3)
Anselmo-Merna (4-4) at Dundy County-Stratton (7-0)
Southern (3-4) at Tri County (7-0)
Nebraska City Lourdes (5-2) at Humphrey/LHF (5-2)
Freeman (5-2) at Weeping Water (6-1)
Elmwood-Murdock (5-3) at Norfolk Lutheran NE (7-1)
EMF (4-3) at Stanton (6-1)
Laurel-CC (5-3) at Thayer Central (6-2)
Howells-Dodge (6-2) at West Point GACC (4-4)
Clarkson/Leigh (4-4) at Cross County (8-0)
First round Thursday
Blue Hill (2-6) at Central Valley (6-0)
Medicine Valley (7-1) at Garden County (6-2)
Leyton (5-3) at Loomis (7-1)
Palmer (3-5) at Kenesaw (6-1)
Sandhills Valley (4-4) at O’Neill SM (8-0)
Mullen (6-2) at Pleasanton (7-1)
Ansley-Litchfield (5-3) at Riverside (3-3)
Axtell (3-5) at Sandhills/Thedford (8-0)
Fullerton (2-4) at Falls City SH (6-1)
Creighton (6-2) at Osmond (5-2)
Niobrara/Verdigre (2-4) at Humphrey SF (7-1)
Johnson-Brock (3-5) at Allen (6-0)
Winside (5-3) at Wynot (5-1)
Pender (5-3) at Osceola (7-0)
Mead (4-4) at Bloomfield (4-3)
Elgin/Pope John (3-5) at BDS (7-0)
Classes B, C-1, C-2 and Six Man have one more week of regular season play before their 16-team statewide brackets are made for the Oct. 30 first round.
Nebraska high school state football champions since 2004
Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Prep Zone
All the latest updates for Nebraska High School sports