Monday, March 10, 2014

State Boys Basketball Tournament Preview

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 99th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Championships will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 13-15, 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 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 25 minutes following the previous game.

Thursday, March 13
Time Div. Pairings 
1:35 p.m. 5 Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran (26-1) vs. Sheboygan Area Lutheran (25-2)
5 Thorp (17-9) Cochrane-Fountain City (20-7)*
6:35 p.m. 4 Brillion (18-8) vs. Dominican (23-3)
4 Unity (22-2) vs. Blair-Taylor (22-3)*

Friday, March 14
Time Div. Pairings
9:05 a.m. 3 Roncalli (25-1) vs. Brown Deer (21-5)
3 Elk Mound (25-1) vs. Lodi (25-1)*
1:35 p.m. 2 West De Pere (20-4) vs. Wisconsin Lutheran (24-2)
2 Rice Lake (22-2) vs. Greendale (19-8)* 
6:35 p.m. 1 Germantown (24-2) vs. Milwaukee King (24-2)*
1 Neenah (25-1) vs. Mukwonago (18-8)

Saturday, March 15
Time Div. Pairings
11:05 a.m. 5 Championship Game
 4 Championship Game*
 3 Championship Game*
6:35 p.m.  2 Championship Game
 1 Championship Game*

STATE TOURNAMENT ON THE AIR:  The State Tournament will be televised live on WKOW-TV channel 27 in Madison, WAOW-TV channel 9 in Wausau, WXOW-TV channel 19 in La Crosse, WQOW-TV channel 18 in Eau Claire, WYOW-TV channel 34 in Eagle River, WMOW-TV 4 in Crandon, WMLW-TV channel 41 in Milwaukee, KBJR-TV digital channel 6.2 in Duluth/Superior and WACY-TV channel 32 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Division of Quincy Newspapers, Inc., will produce the coverage. The championships will also be streamed on the statewide network station websites.

POST-GAME MEDIA CONFERENCES ON WIAA.TV:  The post-game media conferences will be shown live on immediately following each game.

TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The first WIAA State Boys Basketball Championship Tournament was held in 1916. This will be the 17th 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 with  Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Vincent, Milwaukee Lincoln and Racine St. Catherine’s each having won five. There have been 108 different schools that have won championships. Superior Central owns the record for the most State Tournament appearances with 27, followed by Beloit and now Neenah with 26, and then Eau Claire with 25.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Three of the participants in the division a year ago return to the tournament field. Two time-defending champion Germantown is back in the State Tournament for the fifth time overall. The Warhawks first two appearances came consecutively in 2008-09, which resulted in losses in the quarterfinals. They return for a shot at a “three-peat” after defeating Kimberly 66-51 in the final of the sectional hosted at Ashwaubenon. The Warhawks are the champions of the North Shore Conference this season. Last year’s runner-up Mukwonago makes its fourth State appearance. The Indians have actually finished runner-up in its two most recent experiences including last year and in 1996. They placed in a tie for third in the Classic Eight Conference with Arrowhead this year. They advanced to the State semifinals through the  Burlington Sectional, capped by a 53-46 win over Sun Prairie in the final. Milwaukee King is making its 15th overall appearance in the State Tournament. The Generals have hoisted the gold ball five times, winning titles in 1984, 1991, 1995 and back-to-back championships in 2003-04. They have also finished runners-up in 1971, 1992, 1994 and 2012. The Generals were runners-up in the Milwaukee City Conference this season behind Milwaukee Hamilton,  and they are the representatives out of the West Allis Central Sectional following their 87-78 win over Racine Case in the final. Neenah   qualifies for the first time since 2010 and for the 26th time in the school’s history, which ranks tied for second-most among all members. The Rockets have won three championships. Those came in 1930, 1975 and 1978. In addition, they have an abundance of runner-up results, including 1920, 1939, 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1988. They are the champions of the Fox Valley Association this season, they advanced from the Wausau West Sectional with a 54-31 thumping of Marshfield in the final. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Wisconsin Lutheran qualifies for the State Tournament for third time. The Vikings won the State championship in 2009. They rejoin the final field of four following a 57-43 win over Pewaukee in the Brookfield Central Sectional final. The Vikings are the champions of the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference this season. Rice Lake is making its eighth appearance in the State Tournament and the first since 2002 when the Warriors qualified in Division 1. They won the Division 2 State championship in 1993 and finished runner-up in 1961. They rolled over Rhinelander 72-49 in the Marshfield Sectional final to advance to the State semifinal. The Warriors are the champions of the Big Rivers Conference. Greendale has qualified for the State Tournament for the second time. The only other appearance resulted in a runner-up finish in 1995. The Panthers finished fifth in the West Division of the Woodland Conference this season and denied previously undefeated Mount Horeb a State berth with a 67-60 win in the final of the Sun Prairie Sectional. West De Pere is also making its second appearance at State; however, there may not be too many that may recall that experience back in 1933. They had a 2-2 record in that tournament, which included consolation rounds. The Phantoms finished second in the Bay Conference this season. They downed Port Washington 59-40 in the Manitowoc Lincoln Sectional final to return to the State Tournament for the first time in 81 years.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Lodi qualifies for the third straight season after making the school’s first-ever appearance in 2012. The Blue Devils earned the opportunity to continue their quest for a championship by upending Marshall by the narrowest of margins, 42-41, in the Middleton Sectional final. They won the North Division title of the Capitol conference this season.  Roncalli has lost in the semifinals in each of its four experiences at State, three of which came consecutively from 2005-2007. The Jets most recent appearance came in 2009. They return to the tournament field with a 65-50 victory over Little Chute in the Menasha Sectional final. The Jets are the champions of the Olympian Conference this season. Elk Mound is back in the State Tournament for the first time in 20 years, having made its last appearance in 1994. Its only other previous experience came in 1987. The Mounders were State runners-up in each of those two previous appearances, in Class C in 1987 and Division 3 in 1994. Their return to the tournament comes on the heels of a 48-37 victory over Prescott in the Eau Claire North Sectional final. The Mounders are the Dunn-St. Croix Conference champion. Brown Deer is also making its third appearance in the State tourney. The Falcons’ most recent experience came in 2002. They fell in the semifinals that season and in their first-ever appearance in 1982. They earned their berth this season with a 63-53 triumph over Ripon in the Whitefish Bay Sectional final. The Falcons won the East Division of the Woodland Conference this season. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Two-time defending champion Dominican qualifies for the State Tournament for the sixth time. The Knights also won consecutive State titles in 2004 and 2005. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Knights won seven championships while a member of WISAA, winning titles in 1974, 1978, 1979, 1991, 1997, 1998 and 2000. They also had a runner-up finish in 1999. This season, they won the Metro Classic Conference title and advanced to the State semifinals with a 66-42 win over previously undefeated Oshkosh Lourdes in the Germantown Sectional final.  It’s the eighth State berth for  Blair-Taylor. The Wildcats most recent experience came in 2011, which was the third of three straight appearances. They have lost in the semifinals in each of their seven previous experiences at State. The Wildcats defeated Cuba City 62-58 in the Baraboo Sectional final to earn their return to the Kohl Center. They are the champions of the Dairyland Conference this season. Brillion qualifies for the State Tournament for the third time in the last five seasons. After making its first-ever appearance in 2010 and falling in the semifinals, the Lions won the Division 3 championship in 2012. They earned their berth this season by eliminating Auburndale 47-42 in the Appleton East Sectional final. The Lions placed third in the Olympian Conference this year. Unity is making its first State Tournament appearance in the program’s history. The celebration began following a 39-35 win over Mondovi in the New Richmond Sectional final. The Eagles were the champions of the West Division of the Lakeland Conference this season.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran is back at State for the fourth time in the last five seasons, which accounts for its overall total number of appearances. The Blazers also advanced to the Division 4 title game in 2010, but were denied the title. This season, they finished first in the Packerland Conference and defeated Newman Catholic 58-54 in the Pulaski Sectional final to continue their pursuit of their first State title. Sheboygan Lutheran advances to the State Tournament for the second time. The first appearance resulted in a Division 5 championship and produced one of the most memorable moments in State Tournament history. Sam Dekker capped a remarkable comeback by hitting a long three-pointer in the final moments of the 2012 title game. This year’s appearance comes virtue of its 67-56 win over Central Wisconsin Christian in the Kettle Moraine Sectional final. The Crusaders were the champions of the Central Lakeshore Conference this season. Thorp returns to the tournament field for the first time since its only other appearance in 1982, which resulted in a runner-up finish in Class C. The Cardinals finished fifth in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference and have caught fire at the right time, winning their last nine games, including a 56-39 thumping of Drummond in the Spooner Sectional final. Cochrane-Fountain City is celebrating it first-ever appearance in the State Tournament. The Pirates finished runner-up in the Large Division of the Dairyland Conference behind Division 4 qualifier Blair-Taylor. Their path en route to the Kohl Center was paved by a 54-44 victory over Barneveld in the La Crosse Logan Sectional final.

 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 THE TOURNEY ON TWITTER: Receive the updates of the Boys State Basketball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaawiboysbk.


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