WIAA Boy's State Basketball Tournament Preview

WIAA Basketball DL

THE STATE TOURNAMENT: The 103rd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 15-17, 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. 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 is 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. This is the first year the State tournament is seeded. The coaches of the qualifying teams in each division determined the seeds.

Thursday, March 15

Division 3*

#1 Valders (23-3) vs. #4 Kettle Moraine Lutheran (22-5) - 1:35 p.m.

#2 East Troy (21-5) vs. #3 Prescott (24-2)

Division 4*

#1 Roncalli (21-5) vs. #4 Pardeeville (23-3) - 6:35 p.m.

#2 Clear Lake (25-0) vs. #3 Marathon (22-4)

Friday, March 16

Division 5*

#1 Bangor (25-1) vs. #4 Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran (15-12) - 9:05 a.m.

#2 Deerfield (23-4) vs. #3 McDonell Central Catholic (17-10)

Division 2*

#1 Kaukauna (23-3) vs. #4 Westosha Central (20-4) - 1:35 p.m.

#2 La Crosse Central (24-2) vs. #3 Milwaukee Washington (23-3)

Division 1*

#1 Oshkosh North (25-1) vs. #4 Hamilton (17-9) - 6:35 p.m.

#2 Sun Prairie (25-1) vs. #3 Brookfield East (24-2)

Saturday, March 17

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 www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com 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 WIAA.tv 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 21st 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. Stevens Point has won six titles, and Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Vincent, Milwaukee Lincoln and Racine St. Catherine’s have each won five. There have been 118 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: Top-seeded Oshkosh North is making its seventh overall appearance and the first since 2013. The Spartans’ most notable advances in the State Tournament were to the semifinals in 1992 and 2009 when eight teams qualified. They are the champions in the Fox Valley Association Conference this season, and they advanced to State through the Marshfield Sectional with a 57-42 win over former three-time defending champion Stevens Point in the final. Second-seeded Sun Prairie advances to the State tournament for the first time in the school’s history. They defeated Madison East 82-58 in the sectional final played at Oregon to advance to the State semifinals. The Cardinals are the champions of the Big Eight Conference this season. Third-seeded Brookfield East returns to the State tournament for the first time since 1979 and for the fourth time overall. The Spartans’ furthest advance in the tournament has been to the semifinals in Class A in 1968 and 1977. They finished runner-up to Brookfield Central in the Greater Metro Conference standings this season, and they are the champions of the West Allis Central Sectional following an 81-63 victory over Racine Park in the final. Hamilton, the fourth seed, is back in the State tournament for the first time since 1987 and for the sixth time in the program’s history. The Chargers advanced to the semifinals in Class A in 1979, 1980 and 1987, which represents the closest they have come to winning a State title. They placed third in the Greater Metro Conference this season behind Brookfield Central and fellow qualifier Brookfield East. The Chargers will represent the Oconomowoc Sectional following a 63-46 win over Kettle Moraine in the final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD: Top-seeded Kaukauna will attempt to win its second State championship in the past three years after winning the title in 2016. The Galloping Ghosts are appearing in the State tournament for the fourth time overall. In addition to their one championship, they finished runner-up in 2012. This year’s advancement to the State semifinals comes by virtue of their 69-59 victory over Nicolet in the Manitowoc Lincoln Sectional final. They finished runner-up to Division 1 qualifier Oshkosh North in the Fox Valley Association standings this season. Defending champion La Crosse Central, the second seed, returns attempting to win back-to-back State titles. It’s the Red Raiders’ third straight appearance in the tournament and their 17th overall. Their previous 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, and they have earned the opportunity to continue their quest to retain their title with a 72-52 win over Marshfield in the Stevens Point Sectional final. Third-seeded Milwaukee Washington qualifies for the State tournament for the second consecutive season and for the 13th time overall. The Purgolders have won four State championships, gaining possession of the gold 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 champions of the Milwaukee City Conference. The Purgolders have advanced out of the Brown Deer Sectional following a 77-67 triumph over Pewaukee in the final. Fourth-seeded Westosha Central is a first-time qualifier to the State tournament following their 76-55 victory over Monona Grove in the Oregon Sectional final. The Falcons were runners-up in the Southern Lakes Conference this season behind champion Union Grove.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD: Top-seeded Valders has advanced to the State tournament for the first time since the final year of three straight appearances from 1982-84, which also represents the total number of previous appearances for the Vikings. That run of appearances produced three State runner-up finishes in Class B. This year, they are the co-champions of the Eastern Wisconsin Conference with New Holstein. The Vikings upset former defending champion Xavier 59-57 in the final of the Appleton East Sectional to continue their journey toward the program’s first championship. Second-seeded East Troy is making its first appearance since 2015 and its fourth overall. The Trojans’ are attempting to move past the semifinals for the first time. They claimed the title in the Rock Valley Conference this year, and they beat Edgerton 66-53 in the Middleton Sectional final to advance to the State semifinals. Last year’s runner-up Prescott, the third seed, is back in the tournament field for the second year in a row and for the third time in the last four years after qualifying for the first time in 2015. The Cardinals remain in contention for their first State title following their 86-76 win over Wisconsin Dells in the Menomonie Sectional final. They are the champions of the Middle Border Conference this season. Fourth-seeded Kettle Moraine Lutheran is celebrating its first-ever appearance in the State tournament. The Chargers tied for the championship of the East Central Conference with Waupun this season. They navigated through the Whitefish Bay Sectional, which culminated with a 53-48 win over Waupun in the final.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Top-seeded Roncalli is making its second straight appearance and its seventh overall. In each of the Jets’ previous six experiences, they have fallen out of title contention in the semifinals. They return to the tournament field following a 60-50 win over The Prairie School in the Waukesha South Sectional final. The Jets placed runner-up in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference standings this season behind co-champions New Holstein and Division 3 qualifier Valders. The only other experience at State for second-seeded Clear Lake came in Class C back in 1972 when the Warriors fell in the semifinals. They won the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this season, and they are the champions of the New Richmond Sectional after downing Durand 51-44 in the final. Third-seeded Marathon returns to the State tournament for the first time since 2011 and for the eighth time overall. The Red Raiders won the championship in that most recent appearance, and they had three straight Class C championships from 1975-77 to give them four State crowns overall. They defeated Shiocton 60-48 in the Wausau East Sectional final to advance to State this season. They finished runner-up to Auburndale in the South Division of the Marawood Conference this year. Fourth-seeded Pardeeville returns to the tournament for the first time since 1978 and for the sixth time overall. The Bulldogs claimed the State Class C championship in its first-ever experience at State in 1936. In addition, they finished runners-up in 1975 and 1978. This season, they edged Mineral Point 62-61 in the final of the Baraboo Sectional to advance to the State semifinals. They are the champions of the West Division of the Trailways Conference this year.

ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD: Top-seeded Bangor is a State qualifier for the second time in school history. The Cardinals’ only other experience came way back in 1936. They lost in the quarterfinals in Class C that season. This year, they celebrate their advance to the State tournament following a convincing 76-36 win over Southwestern in the La Crosse Logan Sectional final. They are the champions of the Scenic Bluffs Conference this winter. Second-seeded Deerfield will embark on its first State tournament experience in school history following its 65-42 defeat of Lourdes Academy in the Watertown Sectional final. During the regular season, the Demons tied with Palmyra-Eagle for the championship in the South Division of the Trailways Conference. Third-seeded McDonell Central Catholic will appear at State for the third straight season and for the fourth time overall. The Macks’ won the State championship in 2016 and ended their season in the semifinals in 2012 and again last season. They earned their third straight berth with a 62-48 win over South Shore in the Spooner Sectional final. The Macks finished fourth in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season. Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran, the fourth seed, makes its fifth appearance in the past six seasons and its seventh 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 squeezed past Columbus Catholic 57-56 in the Antigo Sectional final to continue their crusade for their first State title.

THREE-POINT CHALLENGE:  The WIAA will conduct the fourth 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 seniors Bennett Laubenstein of De Pere and Kyle Abatto of Kettle Moraine. Representing Division 2 are freshmen Sam Kick of Onalaska and Zac Johnson of River Falls. The Division 3 participants are seniors Caleb Gracyalny of Clinton, who qualified in the event last year, and Ryan Steffes of New Holstein. Division 4 will be represented by sophomore Trey Zastrow of Manitowoc Lutheran and junior Blake Pedrin of Howards Grove; and the Division 5 contestants are seniors Drew Haffner of Gresham and Drew Severson of Eleva-Strum. Visit the information on the WIAA website for more details on the 3-Point Challenge.

NEED RESULTS?: The quickest way to get results will be to access the WIAA website www.wiaawi.org 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.

via press release

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