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A crack at the area High School brackets

Monday, Feb, 4 2013

Last week, I had a great idea.  How about taking a "Bracketology" look at the area High School Boy's Basketball tournament.  What I thought was going to be a fairly simple, fairly fun task turned into a bit of a time consuming head-ache!  Anyway, the Coaches will have the ultimate say and that is the way it should be.  But, if the brackets were announced today, hear is how I think everything would fall:

Division 1 - Sectional #1 (bottom half)

The coaches will have their hands-full in a couple areas this weekend.  The top-2 could get interesting between Oshkosh North and Stevens Point.  The FVA appears to be a better conference than the Wisconsin Valley and they will have a 7-2 edge in voting on that. Neenah beat point but an 0-2 mark last week may have locked up the #3-spot for the Rockets.  I don’t know where to begin with slotting 4-7 and could see a case for all-4 teams in any of those spots.  I think the 8 & 9 are clear cut, that’s it!

#1 Oshkosh North (16-3, 13-2) – the overall toughness of the FVA wins out
#2 Stevens Point (18-2, 9-1) – conference championship gives them the edge over Neenah, despite losing to the Rockets
#3 Neenah (15-4, 12-3) – recent struggles put them down a couple spots
#4 Appleton West (11-8, 8-7) – a win over Oshkosh North Thursday should cement the 4 considering their resume (wins over Neenah, Bay Port, & De Pere) despite a 1-4 record against A. North, A. West & Fondy
#5 Appleton East (10-9, 8-7) -  At Menasha Thursday.  A win their keeps the steady Patriots in the middle position
#6 Appleton North (10-8, 7-8) – swept Appleton East & Appleton  West, but swept by Fondy…tough spot for the Lightning.  Big week with games verse D.C Everest & Kimberly
#7 Fond du Lac (9-8, 7-8) – steady like East but no jaw dropping wins like A. North has over Oshkosh North
#8 Oshkosh West (7-12, 3-12) – better resume than Rapids gets them the home game
#9 Wisconsin Rapids (5-13, 3-5) – tough place to be with the balance in the FVA.

Division 1 - Sectional #2 (top half)

The only real debate here is going to be Kimberly verse Manty.  I probably allowed my FVA bias to make this choice but it is probably a coin flip.  Not much else to say

#1 De Pere (15-3, 12-1) – tops in the FRCC makes them thet top choice
#2 Sheboygan North - (16-3, 10-3) – right behind De Pere in standings and seeding
#3 Bay Port (11-8, 9-4) – fit perfectly into the 3-spot
#4 Green Bay Southwest (10-8, 7-6) – best record among the teams in the middle
#5 Kimberly (8-10, 6-9) – tough being the only team from a conference in a meeting but this should be their spot. The FVA is a more competitive conference top to bottom
#6 Manitowoc Lincoln – (8-11, 6-7) – could end up at #5 if the FRCC unites vs Kimberly
#7 Green Bay Preble (5-14, 3-10) – overall mark breaks the tie with Sheboygan South
#8 Sheboygan South  - (3-16, 3-10) – see Preble
#9 Green Bay East (1-17, 0-13) – tough year for East puts them at this spot

Division 2 - Sectional #2 (top half)

When the idea came to my head to try this, I was thinking the 4-7 in the D1-S1 bracket was going to be tough…I feel like this meeting could take a while!  Six teams will have legit arguments to be up to 3-spots higher than they will end up.  It will really comedown to how the best record vs best conference vs best wins debate comes out.  I would put this regional up against ANY in the state as hardest to pick a winner and most wide open!

#1 Pulaski (15-3, 11-2) – losing to Ashwaubenon twice makes things really difficult, but a 20-point win over Wes tDe Pere and a victory over De Pere are just to good to look over
#2 West De Pere (16-1, 11-0) – Ashwaubenon will have a case for this spot but West De Pere’s record earns it
#3 Ashwaubenon (14-4, 10-3) – Pulaski and Plymouth wins keep them away from a tough match-up with Kaukauna in the 4-5 game
#4 Seymour (16-3, 12-1) – could win the bracket but the Bay Port win may not be marquee enough to get into the top-3
#5 Kaukauna (13-6, 10-5) – a stacked non-conference schedule but probably a loss or two too many in the FVA schedule to get ahead of Ashwaubenon and Seymour.  Could be as high as three though...
#6 Plymouth (14-5, 10-1) – loses to Ashwaubenon and Kaukauna hurt in such a competitive bracket despite leading the Eastern Wisconsin Conference
#7 Notre Dame (11-7, 6-7) – a resume that could give them a home game in most regional semis…not this one
#8 Marinette (8-10, 5-8) – overall record gives them a home game over Menasha and GB East
#9 Menasha (3-16, 1-14) – quality of wins (Oshkosh West, FVL & Kewaunee) puts them ahead of GB West
#10 Green Bay West (3-15, 1-12) – wins were over Oneida Nation, GB East & Sevastapol

Division 3 Sectional 2 (top half)

With only 4-teams above .500, the really debate comes between Xavier and FVL.  The Foxes have the better record but Xavier won twice.  Who goes above who in that situation?  Xavier at #4 could mean a match-up with Little Chute who they went toe-to-toe with a couple weeks back.  Back half does won’t be easy to slot, but not because of good teams comparing good resumes. 

#1 Little Chute (18-1, 13-0) - nonconference wins make up for a down Eastern Valley conference
#2 Peshtigo (17-1, 12-0) – a brilliant record but Little Chute has the spotlight giving them the top seed.
#3 Xavier (11-8, 8-6) – last week’s win should seal a spot ahead of  FVL.  Physical style could give Little Chute a run down the l
#4 Fox Valley Lutheran (10-8, 9-4) – losing twice to Xavier drops them here despite a better conference standing.  Tough week ahead with Little Chute and Clintonville
#5 Clintonville (9-9, 6-7) – handled FVL early and get them again Friday.  Could be a tough match-up for the Foxes
#6 Wittenberg-Birnamwood (8-9, 4-6) – middle of the pack in the Central Wisconsin-Eight.  Record puts them in this area with Omro
#7 Omro (7-10, 4-8) – graduation bug hurt the Foxes in 2013 after some successful seasons the past few
#8 Freedom (6-13, 5-8) – a solid start but a tough schedule has dropped Freedom a spot or two from where they were a few weeks back
#9 Winneconne (7-12, 4-9) – have played better than expectations for a team that was picked last in the Eastern Valley by WisSports
#10 Tomahawk (6-10, 1-8) – conference record could be smoke-in-mirrors for the Hatchets
#11 Lincoln Hills (2-5) – reform school who plays a limited schedule…not sure what to think.
#12 Northland Pines (1-16, 0-9) – one win, puts them ahead of Oconto Falls
#13 Oconto Falls (0-18, 0-12) – no wins puts them on the bottom

Division 3 Sectional 2 (bottom half)

The bottom of this sectional is the opposite of the top half.  Majority of the teams are above .500 and will have good cases to be a spot or two higher than where they end up. 

#1 Brillion (16-2, 13-1) – conference leader and the they boast the record to justify the #1 seed.
#2 Roncalli (14-4, 11-3) – split with Chilton and Wrightstown with a manageable week could have the Jets set up nicely for the 2-spot
#3 Chilton (14-4, 11-3) – brutal week of Brillion and Wrightstown will be telling
#4 Wrightstown (14-4, 10-4) – if they beat Chilton, their win over Brillion would break the tie
#5 Two Rivers (11-6, 5-5) – eastern Wisconsin Conference is good, but the top teams are from the Olympian
#6 Valders (9-9, 7-7) – Olympian Conference puts them ahead of SB and SD, but that’s all
#7 Sturgeon Bay (10-8, 8-3) – losses to NEW Lutheran (2) & Southern Door
#8 Southern Door (10-8, 8-3) – losses to NEW Lutheran, Sturgeon Bay, and Algoma…Algoma loss puts them below Sturgeon Bay
#9 Denmark (9-9, 4-8) – tough Bay Conference record drops them lower than they probably should be
#10 Luxemburg-Casco (7-11, 5-8) – better conference record than Denmark but lost to them twice. 
#11 Kewaunee (4-15, 4-7) - probably where they should be
#12 New Holstein (2-14, 2-9) - probably where they should be

The best part of all of this, we have another week that could change A LOT!  I love this time of year.  The games become more meaningful, the crowds become bigger and the outcomes become more important!  Buckle-up, tournament time is just about here!

Follow Justin Hull on Twitter, Facebook or email any questions or comments.

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