State Boys Basketball Tournament Preview



Monday, March 13, 2017

State Boys Basketball Tournament Preview

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 102nd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 16-18, 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.

NEW GATE SECURITY PROCEDURES:  Everyone entering the Kohl Center are now subject to pass through metal detectors. Fans and media are encouraged to arrive early to avoid missing the start of each session. 

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

Thursday, March 16
Division 3

Prescott (23-3) vs. Lake Mills (24-2) - 1:35 p.m.
Xavier (26-0) vs. Ripon (26-0)*

Division 4
Cameron (23-3) vs. Darlington (26-0) - 6:35 p.m.
Roncalli (13-13) vs. Destiny (23-1)*

Friday, March 17
Division 5

McDonell Central Catholic (24-3) vs. Shullsburg (25-2) - 9:05 a.m.
Columbus Catholic (25-2) vs. Barneveld (24-3)*

Division 2
La Crosse Central (24-2) vs. Waunakee (24-2) - 1:35 p.m.
Cedarburg (24-2) vs. Milwaukee Washington (22-4)* 

Division 1
Stevens Point (22-4) vs. Madison Memorial (23-3) - 6:35 p.m.
Arrowhead (21-5) vs. Brookfield Central (24-2)*

Saturday, March 18
3-Point Challenge - 9:30 a.m.
Division 5 Championship Game - 11:05 a.m.
Division 4 Championship Game*
Division 3 Championship Game*
Division 2 Championship Game - 6:35 p.m.
Division 1 Championship Game*

*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 15 minutes following the previous 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 your source for live streaming video, scores, highlights and more about the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament on iOS or Android phones and tablets.

3-POINT CHALLENGE STREAMED LIVE:  The 3-Point Challenge will be streamed live on the NFHS Network Saturday at 9:30 a.m. To watch the competition, register and subscribe to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $9.95 per month, log-on to or and click on the subscription image in the middle of the page. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription. 

POST-GAME MEDIA CONFERENCES STREAMED:  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 Tournament was held in 1916. This will be the 20th 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 and Dominican have won seven championships. Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Vincent, Milwaukee Lincoln, Racine St. Catherine’s and Stevens Point have each won five. There have been 115 different schools that have won championships. Superior 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:  Two-time defending champion Stevens Point is making its 19th overall appearance in the State Tournament. The Panthers have won five State titles. Those years were 1926, 1954, 1994, 2015 and again 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 76-61 win over Oshkosh North in the final. Madison Memorial makes its 10th appearance at State and its first since 2012. The Spartans had an impressive string of nine consecutive trips to the State Tournament. They won State titles in 2005, 2009 and 2011, and added runner-up finishes in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. They defeated Madison East 50-35 in the sectional final played at Sun Prairie to advance to the State semifinals. The Spartans are co-champions of the Big Eight Conference with Sun Prairie this season. Brookfield Central also returns to the State Tournament for the 10th time overall. The Lancer’s last appearance came in 2008. Their furthest advance in the tournament has been to the semifinals in 2000, 2002, 2008 and again this season. They finished atop the Greater Metro Conference standings this season and are the champions of the West Allis Central Sectional following a 74-66 victory over Milwaukee Vincent in the final. Arrowhead is making its fourth State appearance. The last time the Warhawks qualified in 2010, they were crowned champions to account for their one championship. They defeated Kimberly 61-58 in the final  of the sectional held at Sheboygan North. The Warhawks are the champions in the Classic Eight Conference this season. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Waunakee is making its second straight appearance in the State Tournament and its third overall. 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 from the Middleton Sectional following their 57-39 win over Westosha Central in the final.  La Crosse Central also returns to State for the second year in a row and for the 16th time overall. The Red Raiders’ experiences in the State Tournament date 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 earned their return to Madison with a convincing 92-53 win over Wausau East in the Stevens Point Sectional final. Milwaukee Washington qualifies for the State Tournament for the first time since 2009 and for the 12th time overall. The Purgolders have won four State championships, gaining possession of  the golden ball in 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1993. They have also finished runner-up on two occasions, in 1997 and 2000. This year, they are the tri-champions of the Milwaukee City Conference with Milwaukee Riverside and Milwaukee Vincent. The Purgolders are the representatives out of the Brown Deer Sectional following a 52-43 triumph over New Berlin Eisenhower in the final. Cedarburg has earned a berth in the State Tournament field for the first time in 18 years and for the third time overall. The Bulldogs are in search of their first win in the State Tournament. Their advancement to the State semifinals came by virtue of a 78-75 win over Kaukauna in the Menasha Sectional final. They are the champions of the North Shore Conference this season.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Xavier, the State runner-up the past two seasons, is making its third straight appearance at State and its fourth overall. The Hawks’ first experience in the tourney was in 2009 when they fell in the semifinals in Division 2. They earned their third straight berth in the semifinals with a 63-57 victory over Valders in the Kaukauna Sectional final. The Hawks are the champions of the Bay Conference this season. As a former member of WISAA, the Hawks won titles in 1963 and 1995, and finished runner-up on five other occasions. Ripon makes its fifth trip to the State Tournament and the first since 2003, which resulted in a loss in the Division 2 semifinals. The Tigers’ first three tournament experiences date back to 1918, 1931 and 1936. This season, the Tigers are the champions of the East Central Conference, and they advance from the Whitefish Bay Sectional by defeating Martin Luther in the final, 78-63. Prescott is making its second appearance in the last three years after qualifying for the first time in 2015, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The Cardinals advance to the semifinals again this season following their 78-62 victory over Mauston in the Menomonie Sectional final. They are the champions of the Middle Border Conference in 2017. Lake Mills is celebrating its first-ever appearance in the State Tournament. After their first-place finish in the Capitol Conference this season, the L-Cats navigated through the Waunakee Sectional, which culminated with a 50-47 win over Adams-Friendship in the final. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  The Division 4 field will have a new champion in 2017 without having five-time champion Dominican in the qualifying field. Last year’s runner-up Cameron is back among the final four teams for the second year in a row after qualifying for the State Tournament for the first time last season. This season, the Comets’ defeated Stanley-Boyd 41-27 in the final of the Marshfield Sectional to advance to the State semifinals. They are the co-champions of the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference with Clear Lake this year. Roncalli is making its sixth appearance at State and the first since 2014. In each of the Jets’ previous experiences, they have fallen out of title contention in the Division 3 semifinals. They return to the tournament field with a 50-32 victory over Stratford in the Waupaca Sectional final. The Jets placed fifth in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference standings this season. Darlington advances to State for the second time in program history. The Redbirds only other experience in the State Tournament resulted in the Class C championship in 1990. They won the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League title this season, and they are the champions of the Baraboo Sectional after downing Cochrane-Fountain City 67-55 in the final. Destiny makes its first appearance in the State Tournament. The Eagles’ path to the semifinals was through the Brown Deer Sectional, which culminated with a 70-53 conquest of Howards Grove. The Eagles play a schedule independent of a conference affiliation.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD:  Defending champion McDonell Central Catholic will appear at State for the third time. The Macks’ first appearance came in 2012, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The Macks have their sights on another championship after earning their second straight berth with an 83-48 win over Luck in the Spooner Sectional final. They are the champions in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season. Barneveld will be making its second appearance in the State Tournament after qualifying for the first time last season. The Golden Eagles fell by two points in their semifinal loss in 2016. They earn their return to the tournament following their 62-42 win over Hilbert in the Watertown Sectional final. The Golden Eagles are the champions in the East Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season. Shullsburg also advances to State for the second time in program history. The Miners’ only other involvement in the State Tournament resulted in a Division 4 championship in 1991. They won the title in the West Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season, and they are the representatives out of the La Crosse Logan Sectional after edging Bangor 60-58 in the final. Columbus Catholic qualifies for the State Tournament for the second time following the Dons' 68-62 victory over Gresham in the D.C. Everest Sectional final. Their previous appearance came under the former name Marshfield Columbus in 2003. They are the champions of the East Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this year.

THREE-POINT CHALLENGE: 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 senior Keaton Stremick of Waukesha South and junior Zach Borden of Kenosha Bradford. Representing Division 2 are senior Bryce Te Kulve of Luxemburg-Casco and junior Eric Carl of Kaukauna. The Division 3 participants are juniors Caleb Gracyalny of Clinton and Colton Groholski of Amherst. Division 4 will be represented by sophomore Reid Larson of Fennimore and senior Austin Martin of Random Lake; and the Division 5 contestants are seniors Nicholas Brozek of Fall River and Neal Cerveny of Gresham. 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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