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Xtra points: Revisiting boys basketball Bracketology

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Eric Schmoldt
February 17, 2014

Last week, I took a look at the area high school boys basketball regionals for the WIAA tournament and attempted to predict where our area teams would be seeded.

I promised a post-seeding-meeting blog that would examine those predictions so that we could all laugh at how wrong I was. And I was plenty wrong, though at least part of my faults stemmed from games played after the blog was posted.

Without further adieu…

 

DIVISION 1

Predicted bracket

No. 8 Muskego-No. 9 Bradford winner (Feb. 25) at No. 1 Mukwonago

No. 7 Janesville Parker at No. 2 Janesville Craig

No. 6 Kenosha Tremper at No. 3 Beloit Memorial

No. 5 Badger at No. 4 Kenosha Indian Trail

ACTUAL BRACKET

No. 8 Janesville Parker-No. 9 Bradford winner (they play at Parker on Feb. 25) at. No. 1 Mukwonago

No. 5 Kenosha Tremper at No 4 Kenosha Indian Trail

No. 6 Badger at No. 3 Janesville Craig

No. 7 Muskego at No. 2 Beloit Memorial

Discussion

Welp, that could have gone better. Three out of nine right, and lost on three tossups. Let's look a little closer.

My predictions were posted Friday, obviously before Saturday night's games were played. So when Beloit Memorial beat La Follette and Craig lost a tight game with state-ranked Madison Memorial, it looked likely that the Purple Knights would move into the No. 2 spot. So no surprise there.

I had also declared the Parker-Muskego debate a virtual tossup based on their records, and that one went opposite of my guess.

I should have taken a closer look at the Tremper-Badger discussion. They have nearly identical records (Tremper is 9-11 overall and 4-9 in the Southeast, while Badger is 9-11 overall and 4-8 in the Southern Lakes).

Again, I was essentially 0-for-3 on tossups. I can live with that, learn going forward and laugh at myself for it.

 

DIVISION 2

Predicted bracket

No. 4 Elkhorn-No. 5 Delavan-Darien winner (Feb. 25) at No. 1 McFarland

No. 3 Milton at No. 2 Fort Atkinson

ACTUAL BRACKET

Same as above.

Discussion

Nailed it.

Of course, there were only five teams, and only one real question to be answered, but at least in this division I answered that question correctly. The coaches didn't punish McFarland for playing mostly lower-division teams in the Rock Valley Conference and instead rewarded the Spartans for their record up to this point.

 

DIVISION 3

Predicted bracket

No. 9 Jefferson at No. 8 Big Foot

No. 12 Brodhead at No. 5 Evansville

No. 11 Palmyra-Eagle at No. 6 Whitewater

No. 10 Turner at No. 7 Clinton

Jefferson-BF winner at No. 1 Marshall

Brodhead-Evansville winner at No. 4 Lake Mills

Palmyra-Whitewater winner at No. 3 Lakeside Lutheran

Turner-Clinton winner at No. 2 Edgerton

ACTUAL BRACKET

Regional quarterfinals on Feb. 25

No. 9 Turner at No. 8 Clinton

No. 12 Brodhead at No. 5 Evansville

No. 11 Palmyra-Eagle at No. 6 Jefferson

No. 10 Big Foot at No. 7 Whitewater

Regional semifinals on Feb. 28

Turner-Clinton at No. 1 Edgerton

Brodhead-Evansville at No. 4 Lakeside Lutheran

Palmyra-Jefferson winner at No. 3 Lake Mills

Big Foot-Whitewater winner at No. 2 Marshall

Discussion

We knew this one was going to get interesting, and it did before the seeding meeting even rolled around.

First, the top four seeds, which got byes to the regional semis: Congrats to Edgerton, which clinched the Rock Valley North on Friday and was awarded the top seed at Sunday's meeting. I still like Marshall's resume a little bit more but can certainly understand the Tide's argument that it had one off week—they suffered both of their losses during that stretch. And with so many Rock Valley brethren in this regional, it's not surprising that their argument for the top seed prevailed.

I also admitted to knowing little about Lake Mills or Lakeside, so I'm not surprised they were flipped. But hey, at least I had the top four correctly predicted, right?

OK, on to the teams that will play next Tuesday. I got the 5, 11 and 12, so we'll focus on 6-10.

I knew Jefferson would be tricky, and it got trickier after my predictions were posted, because the Eagles got leading scorer Vinny Cincotta back and a very important victory over East Troy on Friday night. They were 1-3 without him, which I'm sure was part of the argument, and playing in that last game before the meeting showed teams that Cincotta would be back for the tournament. One of those losses without Cincotta was to Whitewater, which was in the argument for the No. 6 seed. With all of that coming after the predictions came out, I've got no qualms with Jefferson moving up to No. 6.

That jump up slid Whitewater to No. 7, and Clinton to No. 8. No issues there.

That would leave us with the Turner-Big Foot 9-10 argument. Yet another Friday-night game. These two teams faced each other and Turner won in overtime. It meant a season split for the RVC South teams, and Turner's overall record is better, so really no surprise that the Trojans got the nod.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

In the grand scheme of things, I did not grade out very well in these projections. But it was a learning experience for me and hopefully for thoughtful fans, as well.

What I learned was that, in the future, I'll either need to put the blog up after the last games before seeding meetings are played, or at least re-examine and edit the predictions if necessary. A lot of things changed Friday and Saturday night. I'll likely still post Friday and edit for any changes, and I will make notations on things that were edited from the original post. That would allow me to post the predictions early enough for fans to see prior to seeding meetings--and prior to the weekend hitting--but also allow for changes based on the teams' final resumes.

I did enjoy it though, and hopefully you did, too. I'll take another crack at it with the girls regionals later this week.



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