We are less than a month away from the seeding meetings for high school boys' basketball, so here's my look at how area teams could end up seeded. Please note this includes only results from the games played already in the season and doesn't include any predictions for games the rest of the way. In case of "tiebreakers" I checked the records against other teams in order of how they'd been ranked by record, or common opponents. If it really came down to it, I tossed a coin and hoped for the best. These are my best guesses; lots can happen in a month.
Here's last week's best guesses.
Here we go, our second boys' basketball regional rankings:
Division 1 - Sectional 3 (Sun Prairie)
Some of the big games to watch this week include Saturday's Madison Memorial at Madison La Follette clash, as well as Kenosha Bradford vs Kenosha Tremper on Friday.
#1 ↔ Madison Memorial 13-2 - By virtue of their win over Sun Prairie, they hold the top spot here still. February 8 looms as a huge game (Sun Prairie), but they have a good one this Saturday against La Follette.
#2 ↔ Sun Prairie 13-1 - The Cardinals aren't sneaking up on anyone at this point, They'll face the Janesville schools in the next week (as well as Beloit). February 8 vs Memorial will be on The Big 1070.
#3 ↔ Madison La Follette 11-3 - Sandwiched around their date Saturday with Memorial are a pair of games against Beloit and Parker. They've got a non-conference game with Milwaukee Bay View coming up as well. Giving them the slight edge over Waunakee by virtue of their schedule, which includes two trips through the rugged Big 8.
#4 ↔ Waunakee 14-2 - Waunakee is 3-0 against D1 teams this season, and just scored a 19-point win over the Badger South's conference leader (Stoughton) and has only lost to Badger North-leading Mount Horeb and to one of the top-ranked teams in D2, Kaukauna. One could argue those losses were in part due to injuries as they came back-to-back. The Warriors only have the second half of their conference schedule left, which kicked off with a win over Reedsburg by 21 on Tuesday night. They play a tough Sauk Prairie squad on Saturday.
#5 ⬆ Mukwonago 11-3 - Mukwonago picked up a pair of wins this past week to stay a game up in the competitive Classic 8, which has four teams with double-digit wins and only two games separating the top six teams in the standings. They get the nod over Middleton for now, but Mukwonago's schedule is more challenging the rest of the way.
#6 ⬇ Middleton 8-7 - Middleton's path to the playoffs has only a couple of land mines in it, with La Follette before the seeding meetings and East after them, so the Cardinals have every opportunity to put together some wins to bump them into a more favorable seed. They lost back-to-back games against the top two teams in the Big 8, Memorial (by 1) and Sun Prairie (by 25), but scooped up a win over D1 Marquette University on Saturday. **We're airing the Madison West vs Middleton game tonight on The Big 1070**
#7 ↔ Kenosha Bradford 9-6 - Bradford lost last Friday to Racine Horlick, but will have a busy couple of Fridays coming up. First it's Tremper this week, followed by the rematch with conference-leading Franklin, whose only conference loss came to Bradford earlier this year.
#8 ⬆ Madison East 7-6 - Middleton clobbered East in our Game of the Week last week, but the Purgolders were able to top Craig to exact revenge for a season-opening loss to the Cougars in December. After this week's pair of games against Parker and Beloit, they'll take on Madison Memorial a week from Friday.
#9 ⬇ Janesville Craig 6-7 - Craig split the season series with East, falling on Friday by 19, but has plenty of opportunity in front of them to rise in the rankings, with dates against Sun Prairie, Middleton, Madison Memorial, and Verona still on the docket (the Cougars just beat Verona on Monday by 18). An intriguing non-conference game with Mount Horeb takes place next Tuesday (a D2 team that beat Waunakee).
#10 ↔ Verona 7-6 - Verona still has most of the upper half of the Big 8 on their remaining schedule, starting with Madison Memorial tonight, who they played tough but lost to back in December. So, there's plenty of opportunity to rise in the standings. However, their final game of the season is against Craig, who they lost to, so there's no chance to make up that loss in the head-to-head.
#11 ↔ Oconomowoc 7-7 - They're two games out of first in the Classic 8, but their next two games are crucial as they will play Kettle Moraine (tied for fourth with Oconomowoc, but own the head-to-head tiebreaker) and Arrowhead (one spot ahead in the conference, but a team Oconomowoc beat) before a date with Watertown in one week. They picked up a win over Muskego this past week.
#12 ⬆ Kenosha Tremper 5-7 - Tremper had a big week, topping Indian Trail and a solid Burlington squad (D2) in back-to-back nights. It gets even bigger this week with Bradford on the slate Friday night, and a make-up game with Racine Horlick waiting as well in a crowded back half of the schedule.
#13 ⬇ Beloit Memorial 4-10 - It's a big week for the Knights. They'll get two home games in three days against two good teams from Madison's east side, East and La Follette, this week. They still have a second game with East, Memorial, and Sun Prairie down the stretch as well.
#14 ⬇ Watertown 6-8 - The Goslings have gone 1-2 against D1 competition this year, with losses to Hamilton and Waunakee, but a win over Parker. So, I have them between Beloit Memorial and Parker (who they beat). A pair of double-digit losses to a decent Sauk Prairie squad in the Badger Challenge and then to one-loss Monona Grove doesn't move the needle much in either direction. A tough game looms Saturday against Stoughton, and they'll get Oconomowoc in one week for a shot at moving up in the regional seeding order.
#15 ⬇ Kenosha Indian Trail 5-9 - The loss to Tremper moves them down a notch. They'll get a chance at a decent win with Racine Case on Friday night before waiting a full week before a date with Southeast Conference bottom-dweller Oak Creek.
#16 ⬆ Madison West 2-13 - West picked up a win over Parker to split the season series, and that will probably be the difference in keeping them ahead of the Vikings with the rematch set after the seeding meetings barring any upsets. **We're airing the Madison West vs Middleton game tonight on The Big 1070**
#17 ⬇ Janesville Parker 2-13 - The loss to West puts them below the Regents the rest of the way barring upsets. The rematch takes place after the seeding meetings.
#18 ↔ Badger 1-13 - The lone triumph for Badger was a four-point December win over D2 Delavan-Darien, who they will play again next Tuesday. They've been handled relatively easily by other teams in this regional, although they did keep it within six against Verona in the season opener.
Division 2 - Sectional 3 (Oregon) - Semifinal (Sun Prairie)
Mount Horeb and Reedsburg go at it this Saturday which could shake up the top half of this sectional. Stoughton will play La Crosse Central on Tuesday in non-conference action, which should be very interesting. In the bottom half, Baraboo and Portage square off in a big contest for positioning in this bracket, and Oregon and Monroe have a key contest on Saturday that could shake up the middle of this pack.
#1 ⬆ Monona Grove 13-1 - If Monona Grove wins out through the seeding meetings, they should be the top seed in this sectional. Their grudge match with Stoughton happens after the seeding meetings, but they have some interesting contests before that, with Monroe and Oregon still in the offing, and an interesting non-conference date with a big and tall Lakeside Lutheran team in February.
#2 ⬇ Stoughton 10-4 - The Vikings were shut down by Waunakee in the Badger Challenge, but rebounded from their second straight loss with a dominating win over Edgewood. An absolutely massive game Tuesday awaits when Stoughton takes on La Crosse Central, which won't play into the conference standings but should show if this team has found a way to overcome the loss of leading scorer Max Fernholz. A win over Central could be a big argument in Stoughton's favor for a top seed.
#3 ↔ Mount Horeb 10-3 - Mount Horeb has an interesting path to follow in the next week, including a fun contest with nearby Barneveld tonight and a solid Janesville Craig (D1) team next Tuesday. Then, they'll hit a stretch of some good teams, including Sauk Prairie, Beaver Dam, Waunakee, and DeForest, which should tell the tale of the tape of where the Vikings end up being slotted in come playoff time.
#4 ⬆ DeForest 9-5 - A solid win over Edgewood in the Badger Challenge followed by an even bigger win over Sauk Prairie on the road has the Norskies moving on up. Some difficult games are ahead, with a key game against Beaver Dam this Saturday and Lodi, Lakeside Lutheran, and Mount Horeb all on the schedule the rest of the way. The Waunakee rematch happens after the seeding meetings.
#5 ⬇ Sauk Prairie 10-4 - Sauk Prairie has double-digit wins, but saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end against DeForest on Tuesday night. They'll have a difficult stretch coming up with Waunakee on Saturday, then Verona and Mount Horeb next week.
#6 ⬇ Reedsburg 8-7 - After Saturday's game with Mount Horeb, Reedsburg won't face any conference opponent that currently has a winning record before the seeding meetings. So, plenty of opportunity for the Beavers to climb the rankings again. Reedsburg took a win over Fort Atkinson in the Badger Challenge before falling to Waunakee on Tuesday night.
#7 ↔ Monroe 9-6 - Wins over Portage and Fort Atkinson in the past week keep Monroe in this position. Their schedule is extremely difficult the next four games, with Oregon this Saturday, a non-conference road game with Whitewater on Tuesday, and then Badger South powers Monona Grove and Stoughton in back-to-back contests (albeit six days apart).
#8 ↔ McFarland 10-5 - It's virtually impossible to tell where McFarland will factor in to this sectional when all is said and done, as the lone Rock Valley team in this group. They are solidly locked into second place, having been swept by East Troy on the season (in first place) but now owners of a sweep over Edgerton (in third place). There really isn't anything left before the seeding meetings that could help them move up either, since their rematch with Turner is on February 22nd, the lone remaining conference game that features a team over .500 in league play. Outside of the Rock Valley, McFarland lost to Stoughton, Monona Grove, and Edgewood, which would place them below the bulk of the Badger South. Their non-conference win was over Capitol North leader Lodi (D3). I think best-case they can win out and move up a couple of spots depending on how other things shake out, but that's why I write things here and I don't coach. Not an argument I'd want to have, personally.
#9 ⬆ Oregon 7-8 -Saturday's game against Monroe is fairly important as the Panthers try to avenge a five-point loss from earlier in the season. Oregon has a big week in February when they face Monona Grove and Stoughton back-to-back.
#10 ⬇ Portage 5-10 - Portage owns wins against Reedsburg and DeForest, but has struggled as of late, losing five in a row and seven of their last eight. A chance to get a pick-me-up awaits with Baraboo on Saturday, but the schedule progressively gets harder after that as they make their way through the second play-through of the Badger North. The Mount Horeb rematch happens after seeding is set.
#11 ↔ Baraboo 3-12 - A win over Milton game the Thunderbirds a two-game win streak, but ended with a nine-point home loss to Mount Horeb. Plenty of games left for Baraboo to move up, and a big date with Portage on Saturday could be the ticket.
Edgewood: In an interesting spot because of the other teams in their grouping. Edgewood has played a tough schedule like always. The five SWC teams will certainly argue for their champs or co-champs. A few Capitol conference squads and a group of Rock Valley teams round out this sectional. Edgewood record-wise is in the bottom half of all the teams in this grouping, near the middle of the pack, but it would be interesting if they received a low-single-digit seed based on that. They've only got Badger South games left, but most of their schedule has been against D2 and D1 teams.
Capitol (as a whole): The Oregon sectional semifinal in D3 above seems pretty cut-and-dry, but the real action starts on the Fort Atkinson side. Lake Mills and Lakeside Lutheran are in a pretty impressive grouping, with a good deal of the upper half of the Rock Valley and teams from southeastern Wisconsin. I imagine those two teams will be in the higher part of the seedings when it all plays out. In Division 4, New Glarus has already played in a classic with Mineral Point in what could be a sectional final preview. Wisconsin Heights is in the same grouping with the Pointers, and their sectional semifinal stretches from La Crosse all the way to the state line. Not an easy road for the Vanguards, who play New Glarus Tuesday.
Rock Valley (as a whole): East Troy, Edgerton, and Turner all have chances at hosting through at least a couple of games. McFarland is in a tough D2 bracket, so they may be on the road faster than the rest of the teams in the conference even if they win the RVC. No easy roads for anyone in this conference.