State Boys Basketball Tournament Preview

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Monday, March 14, 2016

State Boys Basketball Tournament Preview

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 101st Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 17-19, at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

HOW TO GET TICKETS:  Ticket prices for the tourney are $10 per session (two games in a session) for all seating purchased at the Kohl Center. Ticket windows are available one hour prior to the start of any session. Online tickets are available online for $12. All online tickets are print at home or available at the Will-Call window.

STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:  The single elimination tournament features a five division format with four teams qualifying in each of the five divisions.

*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 15 minutes following the previous game.

Thursday, March 17
Division 3 Session – 1:35 p.m.

Prairie du Chien (24-2) vs. Waupun (25-1)
Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (25-0) vs. Xavier (23-3)*

Division 4 Session - 6:35 p.m.
Aquinas (15-11) vs. Dominican (25-1)
Cameron (25-0) vs. Amherst (25-1)*

Friday, March 18
Division 5 Session – 9:05 a.m.

Barneveld (23-4) vs. Catholic Central (18-9)
McDonell Central (25-2) vs. Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran (13-14)*

Division 2 Session - 1:35 p.m.
Waunakee (24-2) vs. Whitnall (20-6)
La Crosse Central (22-4) vs. Kaukauna (24-2)*

Division 1 Session - 6:35 p.m.
Muskego (22-4) vs. Marquette (23-3)*
Stevens Point (26-0)  vs. Sheboygan North (24-2)*

Saturday, March 19
9:30 a.m.
3-Point Challenge

11:05 a.m.
Div. 5 Championship Game
Div. 4 Championship Game*
Div. 3 Championship Game*

6:35 p.m.
Div. 2 Championship Game
Div. 1 Championship Game*

STATE TOURNAMENT ON THE AIR:  The State Tournament will be televised live on WKOW-TV in Madison, WAOW-TV in Wausau, WXOW-TV in La Crosse, WQOW-TV in Eau Claire, WYOW-TV in Eagle River, WMOW-TV in Crandon, WMLW-TV in Milwaukee, KBJR-MY9 in Duluth/Superior and WCWF W-14 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Division of Quincy Media, Inc., will produce the coverage. The championships will also be streamed on the statewide network station websites. Also, download the Magic of March app for free, your source for live streaming video, scores, highlights and more about the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament. The app provides stories, videos and live coverage of the tournaments on iOS or Android phones and tablets.

  The post-game media conferences will be shown live on the portal of the NFHS Network immediately following each game.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The first WIAA State Boys Basketball Championship Tournament was held in 1916. This will be the 19th year the Kohl Center has hosted the championships since moving from the UW Field House in 1998. The tournament featured a one-class format until 1934 when, for two years (1934-35), there were two classes. From 1936 until 1939, the  tournament increased to three classes, and then returned to the one class format in 1940. A one-class tourney prevailed until 1972 when it again became a two-class event. The tourney went to three classes again in 1974 and remained that way until a four-division format was adopted in 1991. The 2011 State Tournament introduced the first five-division format and qualifying four teams from each division. Randolph has won 10 State championships, the most titles won by any member school. Beloit has won seven championships followed by Dominican with six. Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Vincent, Milwaukee Lincoln and Racine St. Catherine’s have each won five. There have been 112 different schools that have won championships. Superior Central owns the record for the most State Tournament appearances with 27, followed by Beloit  and Neenah with 26, and then Eau Claire with 25.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Defending champion Stevens Point is making its 18th overall appearance in the State Tournament. The Panthers have won four State titles. Those titles came in 1926, 1954, 1994 and last season. In addition, they finished runner-up in 1952 and 1982. The Panthers are the champions of the Wisconsin Valley Conference this season, and they are the representatives of the Marshfield Sectional with their 86-49 win over Appleton West in the final. Sheboygan North qualifies for the State Tournament for the seventh time and for the first time since 1993 when they finished runner-up. The Raiders won the Class A title in 1986. This season, they are the champions of the Fox River Classic Conference. The Raiders’ path to the State semifinals came through the Sheboygan South Sectional with a 72-64 win over Bay Port in the final. Muskego returns to the State Tournament for the first time since its only other appearance in 1986, which resulted in a loss in the quarterfinals. The Warriors won the Classic Eight Conference championship this season. They defeated Madison West 69-67 in the final of the Sun Prairie Sectional to earn their return to the State Tournament. Marquette will also be making its second appearance at State. The Hilltoppers advanced to the semifinals in their first experience in 2010. This season, they advance to the semifinals by edging Milwaukee Riverside 59-58 in the final of the West Allis Central Sectional. The Hilltoppers are the champions of the Greater Metro Conference this year.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  La Crosse Central returns to State for the first time since 1986 and for the 15th time overall. The Red Raiders’ history in the State Tournament dates back to the 1920s. They made nine consecutive appearances from 1920-28. That string of experiences produced a State title in 1925. Another notable finish came in 1979 when the Red Raiders placed runner-up in Division 1. They are the champions of the Mississippi Valley Conference this season. They punched their ticket to Madison with a 72-54 win over Hortonville in the Stevens Point Sectional final. Whitnall is back in the State Tournament for the fourth time and for the first time since advancing to the quarterfinals in Division 1 in 2004. The Falcons won the Class B crown in 1988. This year, they were runners-up to Brown Deer in the East Division of the Woodland Conference.  They earn their return to the tournament field following a 79-70 win over Whitefish Bay in the Brown Deer Sectional final. Kaukauna will appear in the State Tournament for the third time and for the first time since 2012 when the Galloping Ghosts finished runner-up.  Their first State appearance came in 2001 when the they lost in the semifinals. This year’s advancement to the State semifinals comes by virtue of their 71-49 victory over Cedarburg in the Menasha Sectional final. They finished in first place in the Fox Valley Association standings. Waunakee is making its second appearance in the State Tournament. The Warriors’ other experience in the final four resulted in a loss in the semifinals in 2011. This season, they are the champions of the North Division of the Badger Conference, and they are the representatives out of the Middleton Sectional following their 63-48 win over Fort Atkinson in the final.  

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Xavier is making its third appearance at State. The Hawks’ first experience in the tourney was in 2009 when they fell in the semifinals in Division 2. They earned their second straight berth in the semifinals with a 59-48 victory over Wrightstown in the Kaukauna Sectional final. The Hawks finished atop the Bay Conference standings this season. As a former member of WISAA, the Hawks won titles in 1963 and 1995, and finished runner-up on five other occasions. Prairie du Chien returns to the State Tournament for the first time since 1986 and for the eighth time overall. The Hawks’ history in the tournament dates back to their first appearance in 1942 and includes runner-up finishes in Class B in 1977, 1979, 1985 and 1986. This year, they are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference. They advance to State for the first time in three decades after their 59-49 win over East Troy in the Waunakee Sectional final. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau advances to State for the sixth time and for the first time since 2012 when the Red Hawks finished runner-up. Their history in the State Tournament dates all the way back to the first year of the tournaments in 1916. Other appearances came in 1917, 1942 and 1960. Their return to the tournament is a result of a 73-60 win over Prescott in the sectional final held at Menomonie. They claimed the championship in the Coulee Conference this season. It was in 1927 when Waupun made its first and only other appearance in the State Tournament. The Warriors won their first-round game versus Ladysmith that year, 11-5, before falling to La Crosse 25-6 in the second round. Their return to State comes following their 68-65 win over Milwaukee Lutheran in the Whitefish Bay Sectional final. The Warriors are the champions of the East Central Conference this season.


Four-time defending champion Dominican qualifies for the State Tournament for the eighth time. The Knights are attempting to become the only program to win five consecutive boys basketball State titles. The Knights also won consecutive State titles in 2004 and 2005, bringing their total to six, which ranks third-most in the membership. They won the Metro Classic Conference title this season and return to the State semifinals with a 52-45 win over of Howards Grove in the Waukesha West Sectional final. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Knights won seven championships while a member of WISAA, capturing titles in 1974, 1978, 1979, 1991, 1997, 1998 and 2000. They also had a runner-up finish in 1999. Aquinas returns to State for the seventh time and for the first time since winning the Division 3 championship in 2013. The Blugolds have won four State titles. In addition to the title in 2013, they captured Division 3 crowns in 2008 and 2011, and a Division 2 title in 2003. The Blugolds also have two runner-up finishes on their ledger, those came in 2007 and in 2009. As a former member of WISAA, the Blugolds won titles in 1941, 1946, 1949, 1950 and finished runner-up on two other occasions. They placed fourth in the Mississippi Valley Conference this season, and they advance to the State semifinals edging Darlington 50-49 in the Baraboo Sectional final. Amherst will make its third appearance in the State Tournament. The Falcons’ most recent experience came in 2013, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. That was also the fate in their first State appearance coming in Division 3 in 1998. The Falcons finished atop the standings in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference this season. They defeated Marathon 47-38 in the Waupaca Sectional final to continue their pursuit of a State title. Cameron is experiencing the celebration of qualifying for the State Tournament for the first time. The Comets’ defeated Regis 66-57 to secure their berth in the State semifinals. They are the champions of the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this year.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD:  Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran makes its fourth straight appearance in the State Tournament and its sixth overall. The Blazers have finished as the State runner-up three times. They had back-to-back second-place finishes in 2013-14 and another in Division 4 in 2010. This season, they finished sixth in the Packerland Conference and beat Almond-Bancroft 59-37 in the D.C. Everest Sectional final to continue the quest for their first State title. Catholic Central defeated Hustisford 48-42 in the final of the Watertown Sectional final to earn its third trip to the State Tournament and its first since 2006. The Hilltoppers won Division 4 championships in each of their two previous State appearances in 2001 and 2006. They finished runner-up in the Metro Classic Conference this season behind Division 4 qualifier Dominican. As a former member of WISAA, the Hilltoppers won a Class B championship in 1984 and finished runner-up in 1976. McDonell Central will appear at State for the first time since their initial appearance in 2012 that resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The Macks’ 73-61 win over Washburn in the Spooner Sectional earned them their second trip to Madison. They tied with Regis for the championship in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season. Barneveld will be making its first appearance in the State Tournament following its 57-55 win over Bangor in the La Crosse Logan Sectional final. The Golden Eagles were the champions in the East Division of the Six Rivers Conference this year.

The WIAA will conduct the second 3-Point Challenge prior to Saturday’s championship games. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Kohl Center. A ticket for the Divisions 3, 4 and 5 championship games session is required for admittance into the event. The top two players per division were selected for the contest based on the best 3-point field goal percentage with a minimum of 75 attempts during the regular season. The contestants representing Division 1 are juniors Terrence Lewis of Milwaukee Riverside and Keaton Stremick of Waukesha South. Representing Division 2 are junior Jordan Johnson of Cedarburg and senior Cody Birr of Pulaski. The Division 3 participants are seniors Carter Voelker of Kiel and Ryan Clarey of Brookfield Academy. Division 4 will be represented by freshman Henry Noone of Lourdes Academy and senior Adam Cherek of Iola-Scandinavia; and the Division 5 contestants are senior Quinn Cushman of Belmont and sophomore Luke Reader of Bangor. Visit the information on the WIAA website for more details on the 3-Point Challenge.

DOWNLOAD WIAA LIGHTS APP: Fans can take part in an interactive and synchronized light show during the line-up introductions for each of the championship games Saturday. Download the WIAA LIGHTS app, which is available for Apple and Android smartphones. Instructions for the game day show will be provided on the app.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the WIAA website and choose the appropriate link on the home page or the boys basketball Tournament Information page.

FOLLOW STATE TOURNEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA:  Receive updates of the State Boys Basketball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaabb. Also like us on Facebook,  follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.


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