Before prep basketball fans around the state know it, regimented, daily routines will develop. A certain shirt or pair of pants may need to be worn. Diets may be adjusted strictly. Nail files will not be necessary. In other words, the IHSA state basketball tournaments are about to begin. Teams will hope for a march in March.
The seeds for the various regional and sectional match ups will be announced at approximately 4 PM on Friday, February 21st. In the last year of existence for the Mid State 6 conference, the four remaining members, all in Class 3A, will be looking to go out with a bang prior to their inclusion next year in the Big 12.
A young, talented and dangerous bunch of Richwoods Knights will join Notre Dame at the Metamora regional in two weeks. Streator and IVC round out that slate of teams. Manual's fortunes appear to be on the rise as they are putting things together at the right time. They will host a regional and will be joined by Central, Washington, Morton, East Peoria and, most notably, Limestone. The Rockets are coming off a state finals appearance one year ago. A Manual vs. Limestone match up would certainly be a top notch affair. Both of these regionals feed into the sectional at Bradley's Renaissance Center along with the Geneseo and LaSalle-Peru regionals.
In Chicago, the always exciting and entertaining Chicago Public League tournament saw two close nail biters in the semi final round held Wednesday at Chicago State University. Pesky Hyde Park fell to heavily favored Curie in game one, 58-56, after giving the Condors all they could handle throughout. Game two was another nail biter as favored Whitney Young held off Orr, 55-53. The Dolphins stormed back from a double digit deficit at half. This sets up a tantalizing championship game Friday evening between the two most talented teams in the State. In Jahlil Okafor for Young and Cliff Alexander for Curie, the two top big men in the nation will square off. Each is surrounded by amazing talent as well. The game may well be a sellout and can be seen via the internet at 7 PM on the ESPN3 network. http://espn.go.com/watchespn/#type/upcoming/startDate/20140221/sport/bas...