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Boys' basketball coaches pick Mankato West, Hopkins as top seeds in state tournament

Sixteen coaches sat at their computers Sunday morning (March 22) and voted to determine the top four seeded teams in Class AAA and Class AAAA for the 2009 State Boys' Basketball Tournament. When the tabulation was complete, Mankato West was chose...

Sixteen coaches sat at their computers Sunday morning (March 22) and voted to determine the top four seeded teams in Class AAA and Class AAAA for the 2009 State Boys' Basketball Tournament. When the tabulation was complete, Mankato West was chosen No. 1 in Class AAA and Hopkins was chosen No. 1 in Class AAAA.

The coaches logged onto a special page of the League Web site. Each coach ranked the other teams 1 through 7. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Kevin Merkle announced the top four seeds. Coaches association representative Ron Larson then blindly drew the names of the four remaining teams to establish the opponents for the seeded teams.

The quarterfinals of the 2009 Class AAA State Boys' Basketball Tournament are scheduled Wednesday, March 25 at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. The opening game features No. 1 seed Mankato West (27-1) vs. New Prague (21-8). The noon game will have No. 4 seed Spring Lake Park (23-6) vs. Rogers (18-11). At 2 p.m. No. 2 seed Minneapolis Washburn (23-5) takes on Grand Rapids (25-3). The final matchup will pit No. 3 seed St. Paul Johnson (25-4) against Little Falls (18-11).

The Class AAAA quarterfinals will also be played that same day on the identical time schedule at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The opening game has No. 1 seed Hopkins (28-0) playing Blaine (15-14). The noon contest has No. 4 seed St. Cloud Tech (29-0) vs. Winona (17-10). The 2 p.m. game features No. 2 seed Henry Sibley, Mendota Heights (27-2) against Bloomington Jefferson (19-7). The final quarterfinal will have No. 3 seed Osseo (27-2) playing Apple Valley (16-12).

The coaches of Class A and Class AA teams chose not to seed their tournaments. A cyclical pairing schedule is employed to match opponents in those two classes.

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This year's pairings for Class A: Section 7 Chisholm (29-1) vs. Section 1 Bethlehem Academy, Faribault (28-2); Section 2 Grenada-Huntley-East Chain (26-0) vs. Section 4 Minnesota Transitions Charter School, Minneapolis (28-2); Section 8 Cass Lake-Bena (24-6) vs. Section 6 Ada-Borup (25-4); and Section 3 Ellsworth (27-3) vs. Section 5 Sebeka (24-3). All Class A games will be played at Williams Arena at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the order listed above on Thursday, March 26.

This year's pairings for Class AA: Section 7 Virginia (28-2) vs. Section 1 Plainview-Elgin-Millville (29-1); Section 2 Triton, Dodge Center (24-6) vs. Section 4 St. Bernard's, St. Paul (26-3); Section 8 Pelican Rapids (30-0) vs. Section 6 New London-Spicer (23-8); and Section 3 Montevideo (21-7) vs. Section 5 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (22-7). The first two games listed will be played Wednesday, March 25, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, at Target Center. The last two games will be played Wednesday, March 25, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, at Williams Arena.

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