Let the March Madness begin.
The Class 3A and 4A boys basketball playoffs tip off Monday, with the postseason culminating on the weekend of March 17-18 with the state finals in Peoria.
And along with the much-hyped event comes the annual complaining of how the IHSA’s four-class system has watered down the achievement of winning a state championship.
I beg to differ.
Case in point, the 4A Thornwood Sectional. It’s stacked. As rigorous as any sectional I can recall. The team crowned sectional champion at Thornwood will be deserving of the honor.
“It’s pretty brutal,” Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor said. “No matter where you’re seeded, there are some big hurdles to clear.”
No doubt, top-seeded Simeon (24-3) is the class of the field. But the Wolverines can be beat. So which teams have a legitimate chance of winning this sectional?
Here’s the way I see it:
Brother Rice (23-5): Second-seeded Crusaders have rode the shoulders of seniors Josh Niego and Mike Shepski to the Catholic League South title. If the Crusaders are going to make a deep playoff run, a third scoring option must emerge.