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Photos by MaxPreps Photographers/Graphic by SocialRecluse Graphx
Initial steps are being taken to bring the nation's top high school basketball teams together for a postseason extravaganza.

The Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament will assemble eight of the nation's top 15 teams (according to this week's Xcellent 25) in New York City next month. It may be the most competitive — and significant — postseason tourney field in high school basketball history.

Still, the event has hurdles to clear before creating relevancy on that level annually. Most governing bodies aren't rushing to grant waivers to member schools in order to participate.

With a true national championship tournament a few years (or decades) away, we are left to dream of a high school March Madness.

And dream we will.

With basketball fans captivated this week by the NCAA Tournament, we've cooked up our own version of the Madness — MaxMadness.

Putting together a 68-team high school field

- Using the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and MaxPreps Computer Rankings, the highest-ranked champion from all 50 states earns automatic bid. The private school champions in North Carolina (NCISAA) and Virginia (VISAA), as well as the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament champ and District of Columbia State Athletic Association champ also earn an invite, bringing the grand total to 54 automatic bids.

- The 14 highest-ranked teams in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, Composite Rankings and Computer Rankings not to earn an automatic bid will earn an at-large invite.

- Unlike the NCAA Tournament, "MaxMadness" participants are clustered geographically, then seeded within respective regions.

Breaking down the 2014 field

Automatic Bids
Alabama: Mountain Brook (Birmingham), Class 6A state champion
Alaska: Monroe Catholic (Fairbanks), Projected 3A state champion
Arizona: Corona del Sol (Tempe), Division I state champion
Arkansas: North Little Rock, Class 7A state champion
California: Mater Dei (Santa Ana), Projected Open Division state champion
Colorado: Denver East (Denver), Class 5A state champion
Connecticut: Fairfield Prep (Fairfield), Projected LL state champion
Delaware: Salesianum (Wilmington), DIAA state champion
District of Columbia (WCAC): St. John's (Washington), WCAC regular season champion
District of Columbia (DCSAA): Roosevelt (Washington), DCSAA tournament champion
Florida: Sagemont (Weston), Class 3A state champion
Georgia: Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross), Class AA state champion
Hawaii: 'Iolani (Honolulu), Division I state champion
Idaho: Capital (Boise), Class 5A state champion
Illinois: Whitney Young (Chicago), Projected 4A state champion
Indiana: Arsenal Technical (Indianapolis), Projected 4A state champion
Iowa: Iowa City West, Class 4A state champion
Kansas: Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park), 6A state champion
Kentucky: Trinity (Louisville), Projected state champion
Louisiana: Natchitoches Central, Class 5A state champion
Maine: Portland, Class A state champion
Maryland: City College (Baltimore), Class 3A state champion
Massachusetts: Putnam Vo-Tech (Springfield), Division 1 state champion
Michigan: Muskegon, Projected Class A state champion
Minnesota: Lakeville North (Lakeville), Class AAAA state champion
Mississippi: Callaway (Jackson), Class 5A state champion
Missouri: Lee's Summit West (Lee's Summit), Projected Class 5 state champion
Montana: Capital (Helena), Class AA state champion
Nebraska: Bellevue West, Class A state champion
Nevada: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Division I state champion
New Hampshire: Manchester Central, Division I state champion
New Jersey: St. Joseph (Metuchen), Projected Tournament of Champions winner
New Mexico: Valley (Albuquerque), Class 5A state champion
New York: Long Island Lutheran (Brookville), Projected Federation AA state champion
North Carolina (NCHSAA): Apex, Class 4A state champion
North Carolina (NCISAA): Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte), Class 2A state champion
North Dakota: Fargo Davies, Class A state champion
Ohio: St. Edward (Lakewood), Projected Division I state champion
Oklahoma: Union (Tulsa), Class 5A state champion
Oregon: West Linn, Class 6A state champion
Pennsylvania: Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), Projected Class AAA state champion
Rhode Island: La Salle Academy (Providence), Division I state champion
South Carolina: Wando (Mt. Pleasant), AAAA state champion
South Dakota: Madison, Projected Class A state champion
Tennessee: Blackman (Murfreesboro), Division I Class AAA state champion
Texas: North Shore (Houston), Class 5A state champion
Utah: Lone Peak (Highland), Class 5A state champion
Vermont: Rice Memorial (South Burlington), Division I state champion
Virginia (VHSL): Potomac (Dumfries), Group 5A state champion
Virginia (VISAA): Paul VI (Fairfax), Division I state champion
Washington: Rainier Beach (Seattle), Class 3A state champion
West Virginia: Washington (Charles Town), Projected AAA state champion
Wisconsin: Germantown, Division 1 state champion
Wyoming: Campbell County (Gillette), 4A state champion

At-large bids
Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
East Side (Newark, N.J.)
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Garfield (Seattle)
Huntington St. Joseph Prep (W.Va.)
Judson (Converse, Texas)
La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Orlando Christian Prep (Fla.)
Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.)
Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.)
White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)

Click 'Next' to see the tournament brackets
The Brackets
Graphic by Ryan Escobar

Graphic by Ryan Escobar

Graphic by Ryan Escobar

Graphic by Ryan Escobar


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