Just like that, there are just 100 high school teams still playing basketball in the state of Wisconsin.
If you weren’t one of the top seeds in your sectional, your tournament is likely over by now.
A quick glance through the WIAA brackets shows a whole lot of chalk.
When you fill out your NCAA Tournament brackets next week, picking all four No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four is not advised. Sure, it’s happened once, but where is the fun in that?
If you tried to predict the girls tournament, though, hopefully you didn’t get too cute.
In my pre-tournament column, the one non-No. 1 seed I picked to make it to state from our local brackets didn’t even make it to sectionals.
On Saturday, when the girls played their sectional finals, the biggest “Cinderellas” still in action in the top three divisions were third-seeded Madison East in D1 and third-seeded Lakeside Lutheran in D3.
The boys brackets weren’t much different. Heading into Saturday night’s regional finals, a whopping four upsets—a lower-seeded road team beating a higher-seeded team—had occurred in Division 1. And half of those four were 9 seeds over an 8.
Division 3 was even chalkier. Of 32 teams still standing entering Saturday, two sprung road wins Friday night, and both were 5s over a 4.
What’s it all mean?
Well, for one, there are going to be some really, really good games at the Resch Center next weekend and the Kohl Center the weekend after that.
Many of the state’s best teams and best players will play in the biggest games of the season. And in many ways, that’s all you can ask for.
But on the other end of the spectrum, it’s March! We need some upsets!
And that’s why the Janesville Parker girls’ run to sectionals was even more remarkable.
The Vikings, a 13 seed, not only got through to that point, but they gave Mukwonago all it could handle. The Indians, the top seed and top-ranked D1 team, is headed to state after edging Madison East in a thriller at Craig on Saturday afternoon.
Parker, a 13 seed, beat Middleton, a 4.
At the time, it didn’t feel that crazy, seeing as the Vikings hung tough with the Cardinals in the first Big Eight Conference meeting off the regular season and led Middleton at half of the second.
But when looking at the lack of upsets across the state, Parker winning in the regional semis was the biggest upset of the girls postseason. And 12th-seeded Watertown beating fifth-seeded Waunakee that same night might have been the second biggest. It meant a double-digit seed would make sectionals.
The only upset in the state this year that might be bigger than Parker’s was when ninth-seeded Medford knocked off top-seeded Rhinelander in overtime of a boys D3 regional semifinal Friday.
Top seeds losing before sectionals has pretty much been unheard of otherwise.
The Clinton girls also had one of the top upsets. The Cougars were a No. 7 seed in Division 3 and took out second-seeded Martin Luther.
So thank you, local teams, for providing the few bracket-busting results of the postseason.
Eric Schmoldt is sports editor of The Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org