State Boys' Basketball Tournament preview

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The 2014 State Boys' Basketball Tournament tips off today at Williams Arena and Target Center in Minneapolis. By Saturday night, four teams will have been crowned state champs.

Every class with the exception of 1A will be in action with quarterfinal games today. This marks the third straight year the top four seeds in each class have been selected by the coaches – Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in 1A, Annandale in 2A, DeLaSalle in 3A, and Hopkins in 4A. Apple Valley would have been the No. 1-seed in 4A if their season hadn't been ended in a double-overtime loss to Cretin-Derham Hall in the section final.

While Tyus Jones and Apple Valley will be spectators, fellow Mr. Basketball finalists Wheeler Baker of Osseo, J.P. Macura of Lakeville North, Reid Travis of DeLaSalle and Brian Goodwin of BBE will all be playing. BBE, by the way, is a staunch 118-4 over the past four seasons.

Macura, who will play college basketball at Xavier next fall, is averaging 32.2 points per game this season. According to MN Baskeball Hub, the senior sharpshooter has a chance to finish fourth on Minnesota's all-time single-season scoring list.

All the action begins at 10 a.m. today with a matchup between top-ranked and two-time defending Class 3A state champion DeLaSalle against St. Paul Central. The Minutemen will have their hands full with the Islanders, but their story is quite remarkable.

St. Paul Central head coach Scott Howell kicked seven players off the team in December. It left the squad with seven remaining players, who are now being referred to as the "Iron Seven," the Pioneer Press reports. The Minutemen were 5-3 at the time the players were dismissed, and they've shocked everyone by finishing the season strong and reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2000.

Click here for a full look at the brackets.

Class 1A Quarterfinal Schedule — Thursday, March 13
11 a.m. — Park Christian vs. BBE at Williams Arena
1 p.m. — Fond du Lac Ojibwe vs. Canby at Williams Arena
3 p.m. — Red Lake vs. Maranatha Christian Academy at Williams Arena
5 p.m. — ACGC vs. Rushford-Peterson at Williams Arena

Class 2A Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 12
6 p.m. — New London-Spicer vs. Annandale at Target Center
8 p.m. — St. Paul Academy vs. Caledonia at Target Center
6 p.m. — East Grand Forks vs. Esko at Williams Arena
8 p.m. — St. Peter vs. Fairmont at Williams Arena

Class 3A Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 12
10 a.m. — St. Paul Central vs. DeLaSalle at Williams Arena
12 p.m. — Marshall vs. Orono at Williams Arena
2 p.m. — Alexandria vs. Austin at Williams Arena
4 p.m. — Cloquet vs. Holy Family Catholic at Williams Arena

Class 4A Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 12
10 a.m. — Tartan vs. Hopkins at Target Center
12 p.m. — Shakopee vs. Osseo at Target Center
2 p.m. — Buffalo vs. Lakeville North at Target Center
4 p.m. — St. Francis vs. Cretin-Derham Hall at Target Center

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