Bracket Preview: WIAA State Boys Basketball Playoffs

posted by Jimmie Kaska - 

All games at 7pm. Regional quarterfinals are Tuesday, February 27. Regional semifinals are Friday, March 2. Please check the link for updated venues or game times, but the higher seed hosts.

Division 1 - Sectional 3

Regional Quarterfinals

#17 Madison West at #16 Badger

-Badger has been playing better as of late. West is led by outstanding guard Keishawn Shanklin. We'll see if West's Big 8 schedule has prepared them for this road test.

#18 Janesville Parker at #15 Kenosha Indian Trail

Regional Semifinals

#16/#17 winner at #1 Sun Prairie

-Sun Prairie is the favorite to win this sectional and go to state for the first time ever, after winning their first Big 8 conference title that wasn't shared with another school.

#15/#18 winner at #2 Waunakee

-Waunakee has lost just twice this year. One was to Kaukauna, tops among D2 teams for much of the season, when Waunakee was without three of their top players and two others were injured (and it showed when they lost a week later to Mount Horeb). Watching the Warriors, who are getting healthy at the right time, take on the best of the Big 8 will be a treat.

#14 Beloit Memorial at #3 Madison East

-East swept the season series and just swept Madison La Follette on the year as well, probably a deciding factor in them earning a three-seed. After a 33-point eruption from Keshawn Justice, East will be looking to do some damage in the playoffs, a year after coming up about three minutes short of a surprise trip to state, taking Madison Memorial down to the final minutes in a sectional final last season. East has won nine games in a row and plays Middleton Thursday ahead of the playoffs.

#13 Kenosha Tremper at #4 Madison La Follette

-Nothing like Sun Prairie as a playoff tune-up game for the Lancers, who had an eight-game winning streak snapped by losing for the second time to East. La Follette has very dynamic scorers and athleticism in spades.

#12 Watertown at #5 Madison Memorial

-The Spartans have faded a bit as of late, a combination of illness, a difficult schedule, and relative inexperience compared to past Memorial teams. With their 14-year conference title streak snapped, the Spartans can focus now on the postseason. Watertown was up and down a bit in the Badger South, which is loaded at the top with Monona Grove and Stoughton, in their initial season there. Memorial brings plenty of size and shooting to this opening playoff contest.

#11 Verona at #6 Mukwonago

-Verona has battled all year, hanging tough in a few games against teams above them in the standings, but couldn't get one over on them. Mukwonago is something of a dark horse in this sectional because so much of the focus will be on the Big 8 teams plus Waunakee. Both of these teams are pretty balanced in scoring.

#10 Oconomowoc at #7 Middleton

-Oconomowoc plays at a lower scoring total than Middleton is used to from having gone through the Big 8 twice, meaning a little slower pace and a little more emphasis on defense. Middleton sports the outstanding Brogan Brunker, who averages 18.9 points per game. Oconomowoc's two leading scorers per game combined don't match that, and as a team averages less than 50 points per game. Middleton can grind it out though, so this one could be a black-and-blue battle from the get-go in the playoffs.

#9 Janesville Craig at #8 Kenosha Bradford

-The winner almost certainly gets Sun Prairie, but we're focused on the first game up. Bradford was able to take down #1 seed Franklin in Sectional 4 this year (and split the season series) to give them their only loss of the season. Janesville Craig owns wins over East (3), Memorial (5), and Middleton (7) this year, so this ends up being one of the most interesting match-ups in the regional round anyways. It feels like this game is a contest between teams that, really, you couldn't figure out where exactly to slot them... so put 'em against each other in the first game and let the winner handle Sun Prairie.

Division 2 - Sectional 3

Regional Quarterfinals

(Sun Prairie Half-Sectional)

#9 Reedsburg at #8 Portage

-The home teams took the win in each game this season. Portage struggled outside of conference play, so they're fortunate to get a team they've already seen this year. Reedsburg by contrast was just 4-9 in Badger North play, but 10-11 overall.

#10 Oregon at #7 Monroe

-Monroe swept the season series with a five-point win early in December and a 15-point win about a month ago. Oregon has battled some of the top teams in the conference tough--including single-digit losses to Monona Grove and Stoughton. Monroe, however, beat Stoughton a few weeks ago, 69-68, to split the season series and hand the Vikings their only Badger South loss.

#11 Baraboo at #6 Sauk Prairie

-Sauk Prairie swept the season series and just beat Baraboo by 24 last Friday. For Sauk Prairie, should they advance on, they have split the season series with third-seeded DeForest.

(Janesville Craig Half-Sectional)

#9 Fort Atkinson at #8 Waterford

#10 Delavan-Darien at #7 Jefferson

#11 Milton at #6 Burlington

Regional Semifinals

#8/#9 winner at #1 Monona Grove

-Monona Grove has lost just once all year--to Stoughton, who they play this Thursday (we'll have it on The Big 1070) for the Badger South Conference Championship. They are 2-0 against the Badger North, with wins over Sauk Prairie (6-seed) and Mount Horeb (4-seed). They could see Mount Horeb again in the regional final, a rematch of their meeting in the Badger Challenge that MG won by three points.

#7/#10 winner at #2 Stoughton

-Stoughton topped Oregon by 7 and by 17 (last Friday), but split with Monroe, including a one-point loss a few weeks ago that counts as their only Badger South loss of the season. They'll play Monona Grove in a winner-take-all Thursday night game for the Badger South crown (you'll hear it on The Big 1070).

#6/#11 winner at #3 DeForest

-DeForest owns a season sweep of Mount Horeb, the #4 seed, so that slots the Norskies in behind the Badger South co-leaders. DeForest split with Sauk Prairie this season, while sweeping Baraboo. They'll play at Waunakee this Thursday as well in a big regular-season finale. You can't argue that DeForest has shied away from anyone--they've taken on D1 top-seed Sun Prairie, D1 Janesville Craig, and two of the Capitol North's best teams in Lodi and Lakeside Lutheran, not to mention the rest of the Badger North.

#5 McFarland at #4 Mount Horeb

-Mount Horeb has already seen this half-sectional's top seed, Monona Grove, and played them to a three-point game at the Badger Challenge. The Vikings split with Waunakee this season and also won the Sun Drop Shootout, as well as wins over D3 top-seed Platteville and D1 Janesville Craig. McFarland lost by 15 to Stoughton and by 43 to Monona Grove this season, as well as two losses to Rock Valley leader East Troy and a six-point loss to Edgewood. However, 15 wins is nothing to sneeze at--McFarland is very solid.

(Sectional 2) #7 Milwaukee Madison or #10 Port Washington at #2 Beaver Dam

Division 3 - Sectional 3

Regional Quarterfinals

(Oregon half-sectional)

#9 Evansville at #8 Richland Center

#10 Brodhead at #7 Dodgeville

#11 Marshall at #6 Edgewood

-Edgewood has been playing the bulk of the season without their top scorer, but still boast a compliment of shooters that should allow them to hang with any team they meet. Not only that, but after playing mostly D2 schools all year, Edgewood will drop down to face D3 squads. Edgewood enters as a relatively dangerous #6 seed.

#12 Poynette at #5 River Valley

(Fort Atkinson half-sectional)

#9 Kenosha St. Joseph at #8 Whitewater

#10 Clinton at #7 St. John's Academy

#11 Shoreland Lutheran at #6 Turner

-Turner is third in the Rock Valley, with a win over conference-leading East Troy under their belt. They play East Troy again tonight in a potential regional semifinal game.

#12 Big Foot at #5 Lake Mills

-Lake Mills lives and dies by the three, but should chalk hold, the regional semifinal against Lakeside Lutheran should be a sight to behold. Two extremely close games for the in-town rivals already this season have proven that much.

#13 Kenosha Reuther at #4 Lakeside Lutheran

-Ditto above for Lake Mills but Lakeside has outstanding players on the wings and a top post presence to go along with it.

Regional Semifinals

(Oregon half-sectional)

#5/#12 winner at #4 Prairie du Chien

#6/#11 winner at #3 Lodi

-Lodi won the Capitol North, but will potentially face #6 Edgewood in their first playoff game. That's not an enviable task for anyone in Division 3.

#7/#10 winner at #2 Edgerton

#8/#9 winner at #1 Platteville

(Fort Atkinson half-sectional)

#6/#11 winner at #3 East Troy

-As noted above, #6 Turner already beat East Troy this season with a rematch coming up tonight.

Division 3 - Sectional 4

Regional Quarterfinals

#10 Berlin at #7 Columbus

Regional Semifinals

#11 North Fond du Lac at #6 Ripon winner at #3 Luther Prep

Division 3 - Sectional 1

Regional Quarterfinals

#10 Adams-Friendship at #7 Arcadia

#12 Westby at #5 Mauston

Regional Semifinals

#8 West Salem vs #9 Wautoma winner at #1 Wisconsin Dells

Division 4 - Full Bracket

Division 5 - Full Bracket

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