Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boys Basketball: Class AAAA state tournament preview

Champlin Park's the #3 seed in the AAAA state tournament.
(Photo: Dan Hinrichs)

The last of the winter sports comes to an end this weekend with the boys basketball state tournament in the Twin Cities. The Class 4A quarterfinals begin on Wednesday at the Target Center, with the semifinals taking place Thursday night. The championship game is scheduled for 8pm Saturday, also at the Target Center.

The four quarterfinal matchups:

Champlin Park (24-5, Section 5 champs, #3 seed) vs. St. Cloud Tech (25-4, Section 8 champs), 4pm:

Champlin Park had arguably the toughest road to the state tournament, as they had to defeat #7 Osseo and #3 Robbinsdale Cooper in the Section 5AAAA playoffs to earn their trip to state. The Rebels, seeded third despite ending the season ranked #2 in the polls, average 70.1 points per game and have won 17 of their last 18 contests. They've played seven games against teams ranked in the 4A top 10, winning four of those games including three against conference rivals Osseo. Champlin Park's making their second trip to state; their only other trip came in 2005.

St. Cloud Tech spent a week at #1 earlier in the season after starting the year 10-0. Back-to-back losses knocked the Tigers out of the top spot, but they were able to regroup and win their last nine games to make their 11th trip to the state tournament. The Tigers were tested in the Section 8AAAA playoffs, as they survived a one-point game against St. Michael-Albertville in the semifinals and then defeated #9 Buffalo by seven to win their third straight section title. St. Cloud Tech's the eighth-highest scoring team in Class 4A, averaging 71.3 points per game.

Click here to read about the other three games.

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