The Class 2A boys’ basketball tournament starts Wednesday. The first games begin at 6 p.m. at two sites (Target Center and Williams Arena). Here are the things you should know as the tournament gets going:
1. The top five teams in the final poll were knocked off in section play, leaving the Class 2A field wide open. Seventh-ranked Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (28-2) has to be considered one of the favorites. The Buccaneers are 55-3 over the past two seasons and are allowing only 41.6 points per game.
2. First-time entrant Zimmerman has a tough draw, getting Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in the quarterfinals, but don’t be fooled by its 22-8 record. All eight of its losses are to Class 3A and 4A teams. The Thunder also has plenty of depth.
3. Minnehaha Academy returns with a much different look than a year ago. The Redhawks (17-12) lost all five starters from that squad, and it took some time for this year’s group to come together. They are led by Osseo transfer Gerald McCarver, who is averaging 19.4 points per game.
4. Redwood Valley might be making its first state tournament appearance since 2002, but it will have a familiar look. Coach Markus Okeson guided Ellsworth in the Class 1A state tournament for three consecutive years (2005-07). The Cardinals have a dynamic scoring punch in senior J.T. Radel (21 points per game) and junior Michael Busack (21.1 points per game).
5. Rochester Lourdes doesn’t mind working overtime in order to get the job done. The Eagles are 4-0 in overtime this year, including a 53-49 victory over No. 1-ranked Plainview-Elgin-Millville on St. Patrick’s Day in the Section 1 championship. They lost to the Bulldogs by 36 points during the regular season.