We’ve reached the regional semifinals of the girls’ basketball tournament series. The fun part begins. The chances of upsets get greater.
Most of the big shots have made it to this point smoothly. The most notable exception was 1A No. 4 Exira, which got bumped in the quarterfinals by Coon Rapids-Bayard.
Someone big will get bumped this weekend. It’s inevitable. But who? Here’s a list of the Gazette-area top-10s, and their level of danger:
2A #1 MFL MAR MAC (vs. Turkey Valley)
Of the four No. 1 teams, the Bulldogs (22-1) are on the thinnest ice this weekend. They play a conference foe that will not bow down to them. MFL MarMac owns two wins over the Trojans: 59-40 and 62-54. That’s close enough that the Trojans (17-5) will head into the game believing they can do it. Plus, Bulldogs post Whitney Wubbena is dealing with healthy issues. Chance of upset: 25 percent.
2A #7 TIPTON (vs. Northeast)
This is a rematch of a January non-conference game, won by the Tigers, 50-43. Tipton (22-1) is showing signs of vulnerability; it trailed Solon at halftime in the first round. Northeast (16-7) already pulled one upset in regionals, tripping No. 14 Camanche in the first round. This could be close. Chance of upset: 30 percent.
1A #1 SPRINGVILLE (vs. Keota)
Keota’s a hard team to figure. They Eagles (13-9) struggled throughout the season with some of the SICL bottom feeders, but rose to the occasion against most of the better teams. They don’t come any better that Springville (22-1), which has allowed 44 points in its two tournament games. The Orioles ought to cruise. Chance of upset: 2 percent.
1A #9 VALLEY COMMUNITY (vs. Wapsie Valley)
This ought to be the best 1A matchup in the state tonight. No. 14 Wapsie Valley (19-5) already defeated the Tigers (20-2) once this season, winning 47-35 at Elgin in January. Both teams have cruised through tournament play so far. It appears to be a tossup. Chance of upset: 50 percent.
4A #1 LINN-MAR (vs. Clinton)
One of six MVC-vs.-MAC matchups, and the most lopsided matchup of them all. Clinton (3-19) beat Dubuque Hempstead in the first round while the Lions (21-0) are rested and healthy. The score to this game will be whatever Linn-Mar wants it to be. Chance of upset: 0.1 percent.
4A #7 IOWA CITY WEST (vs. Des Moines Roosevelt)
The Women of Troy (15-6) face a Roosevelt squad that has enjoyed vast postseason success through the past five years, and that experience is an advantage for the Roughriders (11-10). This will be a low-scoring, physical game. West doesn’t want to get behind early. Chance of upset: 25 percent.
4A #9 CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (vs. Davenport West)
Figured out the Cougars? Me neither. When they’re good, they’re terrific. Right now, they’re not so good. Kennedy (14-7) has dropped four straight games for the first time in Dennis Roloff’s 18-year career and limps into regionals. West (14-8) struggled to beat a three-win Muscatine outfit in overtime in Round 1. I think Kennedy gets well Saturday, but really, who knows? Chance of upset: 20 percent.
4A #10 IOWA CITY HIGH (vs. Burlington)
Saturday’s game will be three months to the day since City High (15-6) opened the season with a 48-41 win at Burlington (9-13). The Little Hawks don’t want a naibiter: they’ve dropped three games since mid-January by two points or less. Chance of upset: 15 percent.
3A #3 MARION (vs. Anamosa)
These Wamac Conference interdivisional rivals did not meet during the regular season. Anamosa (16-6) will play defense well enough to give itself a chance, but can the Raiders score enough points, and can they contain Morgan Paige? Marion (21-1) needed a late run to get past Maquoketa in the first round. This game will be similar. Chance of upset: 30 percent.
3A #4 WAUKON (vs. Oelwein)
Some say it’s difficult to beat a team three times in a season. Others say, the more you beat a team, the easier it gets. The Indians (18-2) swept Oelwein (14-7) in the regular season. One road win came easily; the home win necessitated overtime. Chance of upset: 30 percent.
Area regional picks:
2A Region 7
At Monticello: Cascade 33, Maquoketa Valley 28. At Monona: MFL MarMac 52, Turkey Valley 40.
2A Region 8
At West Liberty: Iowa City Regina 51, Mediapolis 48. At Tipton: Tipton 55, Northeast 50.
1A Region 7
At Clarksville: North Butler 49, Janesville 32. At Oelwein: Wapsie Valley 47, Valley Community 41.
1A Region 8
At Wyoming: Midland 43, Bellevue Marquette 39. At C.R. Prairie: Springville 53, Keota 29.
4A Region 5
At Ankeny: Ankeny 51, Marshalltown 33. At Iowa City: Iowa City West 39, Des Moines Roosevelt 34.
4A Region 6
At Marion: Linn-Mar 83, Clinton 36. At Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids Jefferson 57, Bettendorf 44.
4A Region 7
At C.R. Washington: Cedar Rapids Washington 68, Pleasant Valley 45. At C.R. Xavier: Cedar Rapids Xavier 51, North Scott 35.
4A Region 8
At Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids Kennedy 60, Davenport West 49. At Iowa City: Iowa City High 54, Burlington 37.
3A Region 5
At Williamsburg: Pella 56, Benton Community 53. At Grinnell: Vinton-Shellsburg 48, Knoxville 46.
3A Region 6
At Waukon: Waukon 51, Oelwein 43. At Cresco: Crestwood 57, Charles City 53.
3A Region 7
At Marion: Marion 47, Anamosa 38. At Dubuque: Dubuque Wahlert 50, Western Dubuque 36.
3A Region 8
At Winfield: DeWitt Central 55, Keokuk 45. At Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon 48, Washington 44.