The Fairview boys basketball team hasn't lost in nearly three months, but the Knights got little love in the coaches rankings throughout the season.
They were out of the poll entirely until going 8-1 and finally crept up to No. 5 by the time their 22-1 regular season ended (it included a 16-0 mark in the Front Range League).
On Sunday, the Knights received some of the respect that had been lacking. It might have taken a loss by Denver East to Highlands Ranch in the regular-season finale, but the Knights earned a No. 1 seed in the Class 5A boys basketball bracket.
"I think it's really indicative of how we've been playing," Fairview coach Frank Lee said. "There had been some indicators that we weren't going to get (a No. 1), and to get it shows what the people who go out and observe games felt."
The Knights, joined by Arapahoe, Regis Jesuit and Chaparral as top seeds, will open Friday against the Hinkley-Montbello first-round winner.
"It's a positive to get recognized like that, but now we have to go out there and defend it," Lee said.
The Monarch boys (13-10) also earned a spot in the 5A bracket and will host Lakewood on Tuesday. The winner travels to No. 2 Highlands Ranch (20-3) on Friday.
The Monarch girls joined the Fairview boys and earned a top seed. The Coyotes (18-5), who clinched the Front Range League title on Friday with a 66-54 win against Legacy, will open the postseason Saturday against the Overland-Castle View winner.
Fairview and Boulder also make an appearance in the 5A girls bracket. The fifth-seeded Knights (14-9) will host No. 12 Brighton in the first round Wednesday, while No. 10 Boulder (8-15) will travel west to face No. 7 Fruita Monument.
In 4A boys, Broomfield earned a top seed and Longmont also will receive a first-round bye as a No. 4. Each will open the postseason Friday.
Niwot earned a No. 7 seed while Silver Creek, Skyline and Centaurus sneaked in as No. 11s. All will open Tuesday, with Niwot hosting Vista Ridge. Silver Creek will travel to Thomas Jefferson, Skyline will visit Elizabeth and Centaurus will venture to Pueblo West.
In 4A girls, Centaurus was spurned for a No. 1 seed despite going 20-3 and winning the Northern League. The Warriors are a No. 2 and will open Friday against the Mesa Ridge-Northridge winner.
Five-time champ Broomfield, beaten out by Centaurus for the league title, also earned a No. 2 and will host either Wheat Ridge or Skyline on Friday. Skyline is a No. 10 seed.
Silver Creek also received a first-round bye as a No. 4 seed, and Longmont qualified as a No. 12.