For the next two weeks, Minnesota becomes the State of Basketball.
Ok, so that’s a little strong. But with the boys’ hockey state tournament behind us (just 359 days until next year’s 75th anniversary edition), the focus turns to girls’ and boys’ basketball.
The girls’ basketball state tournament is first up, starting Wednesday and running through Sunday.
Here are the seedings:
Class 4A: Eastview (1), Hopkins (2), Cretin-Derham Hall (3), Lakeville North (4) and Maple Grove (5). Prior Lake, Forest Lake and Roseville are unseeded.
Class 3A: Cooper (1), Northfield (2), Holy Angels (3), DeLaSalle (4) and Willmar (5). Alexandria, Mankato West and Grand Rapids are unseeded.
Class 2A: Sauk Centre (1), Maranatha Christian Academy (2), Roseau (3), Minnehaha Academy (4) and Norwood Young America (5). Byron, Mesabi East and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton are unseeded.
Class 1A: Lyle/Pacelli (1), Mountain Iron-Buhl (2), Ada-Borup (3), Minneota (4) and Menahga (5). Heritage Christian, Stephen-Argyle and Sleepy Eye are unseeded.
The quarterfinals are split between Target Center and Williams Arena. Semifinals and championship games will be at Target Center.
A lot of juicy section finals are on tap, with games on four consecutive days. Often the section finals produce the most intense games with the most frenzied atmospheres.
Here’s one potential schedule of a game each day:
Wednesday: Section 6, 4A championship — Hopkins vs. Wayzata, at Osseo, 7 p.m. Hopkins has won 26 in a row, including two victories over Wayzata. The Royals have extra incentive, having lost to the Trojans in the section final last season.
Thursday: Section 6, 3A championship — DeLaSalle vs. Orono, at Chanhassen, 7 p.m. The Islanders are seeking their seventh straight Class 3A state title. Orono has won 17 in a row. This will be the last time DeLaSalle guard Gabe Kalscheur and Orono forward Jarvis Omersa meet as foes. They will be teammates with the Gophers next season.
Friday: Section 2, 4A championship — Edina at Eden Prairie, 7 p.m. Has top-seeded Eden Prairie put its slump in the past? The Eagles lost five of their last nine regular-season games, including a road loss at Edina.
Saturday: Section 1, 4A — Lakeville North vs. Rochester John Marshall, at Rochester Mayo Civic Center, 1 p.m. Lakeville North has won this section six years running. Will this be the year fans get to see Rochester John Marshall’s superb junior Matthew Hurt in a state tournament setting?