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Tue, February 18, 2014

WIAA Boy's Basketball Regional Semifinals

The WIAA released its Boy's Basketball pairings Monday.  Over the last 24-hours, I have scoured the brackets to find the match-ups in North East Wisconsin that are the most intriguing.  Here is a look at my top-5 matchups for the Regional Semifinals which will be played Friday, February 28th at the better seeded school.

5.) #6 Wisconsin Rapids @ #3 Oshkosh North (Division 1, Sectional 1)

This is a match-up teams that would have found themselves with higher seeds had they been in different sectionals.  Frank Shade’s Oshkosh North team has a resume that is impressive with wins over Neenah, De Pere, & Wisconsin Lutheran while taking on Germantown early on this season.  Rapids likely pushed down to 6th because of their conference being down and in a meeting with 7 of 9 teams at meeting from FVA. A Late win over Marshfield didn’t help.  What team has more motivation?

4.) #3 Waupaca @ #2 Hortonville (Division 2, Sectional 1)

Both teams put together solid years in what turned out to be top heavy conferences.  Waupaca definitely trending upward as they were the ultimate spoiler in the EVC with wins over Ripon and Little Chute.  Hortonville is very tested playing in the Bay Conference with Seymour, West De Pere and Shawno.  The two teams met on February 14th with Hortonville notching a double-digit win. 

3.) #5 Appleton North @ #4 Appleton West (Division 1, Sectional 1)

There may not be a team that is trending more upward than Appleton North.  There only losses since December 17th were to Neenah (2), Oshkosh North, Kaukauna, & Appleton West.  In that 2-month stretch is a win over Oshkosh North, which shook up the FVA standings in a big way.  Appleton West was steady throughout the year while overcoming a couple key injuries down the stretch to sit at 3rd in the FVA.  West won both regular season meetings.

2.) #6 Xavier @ #3 West De Pere (Division 2, Sectional 2)

If anyone can find an outright Conference Champion with a seed lower than 4, please let me know.  Xavier (will) pick up an outright Conference Championship in the Eastern Valley but because that league is mostly D3-schools and the Hawks non-conference schedule wasn’t the greatest, they slid down as far as they did.  West De Pere has definitely lived up to the hype this year with 2 of their 3 losses coming to Seymour and Ashwaubenon who sit in the same sectional.  The key for the Hawks will behind the arc.

1.) #5 Kaukauna @ #4 Pulaski (Division 2, Sectional 2)

In most years, Kaukauna would have been in the conversation for a FVA title but Neenah and Oshkosh North were so top heavy, the drop off seemed bigger than it probably was.  Pulaski is in the mix in the FRCC with the likes of Ashwaubenon, Bay Port, & De Pere.  If you can only see one game for the rest of February, this is it.

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