• Boys Basketball Playoffs Begins Next Week

    By Troy Sparks

    One format change in the WIAA playoffs from last year was the elimination of the Super Tuesday rounds. The Division 1 field for the state tournament has been reduced from eight teams to four teams. It doesn't matter. There are still four sectional champions.

    Out of the four sectionals, I think the strongest one is the Racine Horlick sectional. That sectional is loaded with several of the state's top teams. Milwaukee King and Riverside are the favorites to win that sectional. Milwaukee Hamilton may have something to say about that. They made it to the WIAA Div. 1 title game and lost to Madison Memorial. The surprise team in this sectional, especially if they get a sudden burst of momentum, is Racine Park.

    The weakest sectional in Div. 1 in my mind is Kettle Moraine. Memorial should have no problem winning that one. Mukwonago could give the Spartans a run for their money, providing that they meet in the finals.

    Normally, I would say that Germantown would have a tough time winning the Manitowoc sectional, but the odds of making it to Madison is in their favor. The Warhwaks finished the regular season undefeated at 22-0 and captured their second straight North Shore Confefence title in back-to-back 14-0 campaigns. The state's top team may meet DePere in the finals of their sectional. Conference partner Homestead is in that same sectional. It's a possibility that those teams could meet, Mar. 8, at Waukesha North, if they breeze through the regional rounds.

    You won't get an argument from me on Oshkosh North taking the Stevens Point sectional. They have been to state before, and they know how to win championships. My money is on a Germantown vs. Memorial final. I think Germantown is ready to win the title. They have balance and size to go along with the determination and the memories that a two-point loss denied them the opportunity of a trip to Madison.

    Most of the playoff games will start next Friday. Only a handful of first round games kick off next Tuesday. The regular season is over and the second season will separate the men from the boys.