Growing up in Kentucky whether it be the small towns such as Paintsville, Pikeville, Hickman, and Fulton or in the bigger metropolitan areas such as Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Bowling Green, and Florence, the dream of many children is to one day play in the KHSAA Sweet 16.
Many of those kids are playing on makeshift hoops without a net only to possibly one day cut the net off of the rim after a regional championship and, maybe, even a state championship.
Regardless of what region or gender is playing on any given night, teams know that it is lose and go home from here on out. The field for the Mingua Beef Jerky/KHSAA Girls’ Basketball Sweet 16 will be finalized on Sunday, March 8, and the entrants into the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Basketball Sweet 16 will be set on Tuesday, March 10.
Regional games are already underway as the 4th Region girls tournament started this afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena on the campus of Western Kentucky University with Russell County defeating Glasgow 40-36 and Bowling Green trouncing Russellville 61-29.
Last week, I posted an article where we went ahead and selected our thoughts on who the regional winners will be, but this article will now include my selections on who will be playing in the finals of each regional tournament as well as who will be punching their tickets to Rupp Arena.
Just like how it should be in real life when entering a building, ladies are first.
Please note that the times listed for the championship game for each regional is local to the site.
1st Region – March 7 at 6 p.m. – Calloway County over Marshall County at the CFSB Center on the campus of Murray State University.
2nd Region – March 7 at 6 p.m. – Madisonville-North Hopkins over Henderson County at Christian County High School.
3rd Region – March 8 at 3 p.m. – Owensboro Catholic over the winner of the Muhlenberg County/Apollo matchup at the Owensboro Sportscenter.
4th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Bowling Green over Barren County at WKU’s EA Diddle Arena.
5th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Bethlehem over Elizabethtown at Thomas Nelson High School.
6th Region – March 7 at 1:45 p.m. – Mercy Academy over Bullitt East at Valley High School.
7th Region – March 7 at 12 p.m. – Sacred Heart over Christian Academy of Louisville at Valley high School.
8th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Simon Kenton over Walton-Verona at Collins High School.
9th Region – March 8 at 2 p.m. – Ryle over Notre Dame Academy at NKU’s BB&T Arena.
10th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Bishop Brossart over Campbell County at Campbell County Middle School.
11th Region – March 6 at 7 p.m. – Scott County over Franklin County at EKU’s McBrayer Arena.
12th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Rockcastle County over Southwestern at Lincoln County High School.
13th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – South Laurel over North Laurel at the Corbin Arena.
14th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Wolfe County over the host Letcher County Central.
15th Region – March 7 at 5 p.m. – Shelby Valley over Pikeville at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville.
16th Region – March 7 at 7 p.m. – Russell over Boyd County at Morehead State University’s Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
Now that the girls regional championship games have been picked, I will turn my focus over to the boys tournaments. While there are plenty of people that have been to far more games that I have been, there has been one team that has stood out, to me, as being my favorite to win it all and that is none other than the Colonels of Covington Catholic High School so the below picture will be the smallest of trophies that I think that they will win this postseason.
Below will be my region-by-region championship game picks as well as those who will earn the right to represent their school, town, and region at Rupp Arena:
1st Region – March 8 at 3 p.m. – McCracken County over Marshall County at Murray State University’s CFSB Center.
2nd Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Madisonville-North Hopkins over Lyon County at Hopkinsville High School.
3rd Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Owensboro over Owensboro Catholic at the Owensboro Sportscenter.
4th Region – March 10 at 6 p.m. – Bowling Green over Warren Central at WKU’s EA Diddle Arena.
5th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Elizabethtown over John Hardin at Taylor County High School.
6th Region – March 9 at 7 p.m. – Fern Creek over Butler at Valley High School.
7th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Ballard over Male at Valley High School.
8th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Oldham County over Collins at Henry County High School.
9th Region – March 10 at 7:30 p.m. – Covington Catholic over Highlands at NKU’s BB&T Arena.
10th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – George Rogers Clark over Campbell County at home.
11th Region – March 7 at 5 p.m. – Lexington Catholic over Scott County at EKU’s McBrayer Arena.
12th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Somerset over the host Pulaski County.
13th Region – March 9 at 7 p.m. – South Laurel over Clay County at the Corbin Arena.
14th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Hazard over Wolfe County at Knott County Central High School.
15th Region – March 9 at 7 p.m. – Martin County over Shelby Valley at the Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville.
16th Region – March 10 at 7 p.m. – Ashland Blazer over Boyd County at Morehead State University’s Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
May the best team win their respective regional tournament. To all of the players, play with the passion for the game that you have inside of you. Play for yourself, your team, your coaches, your school, your family, and your community. Leave it all out on the court so that you know you gave it your all.