2014 Indiana High School Basketball State Tournament: Regional Preview

The Indiana HS tournament will go from 64 to 16 teams on Saturday.

Regional Saturday is one of the best days in Indiana. The IHSAA has screwed up this sacred tournament a lot CLASS BASKETBALL , but they did something right when they brought back regional Saturday. 64 Teams. 16 sites. Three games at each site. With a good draw a mediocre or even bad team can sneak through a sectional. To survive regional Saturday it takes a very good team. There are rarely fluke regional winners, and the survivors this Saturday will be a single step away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the State Finals.

Depending on how things go I may be attending a regional final on Saturday night. I'll be in Indy for the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday afternoon, but if Kokomo wins its morning game the temptation will be strong to go up to Marion to catch the championship.

Here is a look at all 16 Regionals, four in each class, with a special note if there is a Purdue connection. At all sites the semifinals start at 10am, with the two morning winners coming back for the title game at 8pm at the same site.

Class 4A

Southport

Richmond (22-2) vs. Indianapolis Tech (23-2)

Pike (14-8) vs. Brownsburg (21-2)

This is going to be a good one. Richmond is a sectional winner for the first time since 1996 and Tech since 1978. Both teams are excellent, but Tech is ranked No. 2 and the highest ranked team left after Carmel fell. Tech has Trey Lyles, the five-star commitment at Kentucky along with Ball State commits Rashaun Richardson and Jeremie Tyler. Richmond has a very good 2015 player in Joel Okafor

In the second game Pike has Tahjai Teague as a 2015 prospect because they always have a great Teague player. Purdue 2015 target K.J. Walton plays for Brownsburg and they already beat Pike by 14 once this year. They lost only to No. 1 Carmel and No. 3 Hamilton Southeasterm. Pick: Indy Tech

Seymour

Evansville Central (16-6) vs. New Albany (17-6)

Bloomington North (14-8) vs. Franklin Central (13-10)

This is one of the weaker regionals and the winner will be a heavy underdog against the Southport winner next week. There is not a lot of individual talent or any highly recruited players here. Pick: New Albany

Michigan City

Lake Central (19-3) vs. LaPorte (16-7)

Concord (15-8) vs. Penn (22-1)

This looks like it will be a Penn vs. Lake Central final as both teams have had excellent seasons outside of the Indianapolis media market. Lake Central has Tyler Wideman, who has already signed with Butler. Penn has been a very quiet 22-1, but hasn't played as challenging of a schedule as other teams. Lake Central at least plays in the very tough Region, and has lost to Bowman Academy, Tech, and East Chicago Central. Pick: Lake Central

Marion

Kokomo (16-7) vs. Homestead (18-7)

Fort Wayne North (24-1) vs. Hamilton Southeastern (22-3)

This is a very interesting regional as Kokomo is long on experience. They are making their fourth straight trip to the regional and though they are 16-7, they are 9-1 since Tayler Persons, who has signed with Northern Kentucky, returned from a torn ACL. Kokomo is 14-2 since December 28 and lost only to Carmel and Richmond. Homestead has a 4-star 2016 player in 6'9" Caleb Swanigan, who will be a tough matchup for a smaller Kokomo team. Swanigan has offers from Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee, while Purdue is interested.

In the second game one of the nation's top 2017 players in Zach Gunn plays big minutes for Hamilton Southeastern, who knocked off two-time defending state champion Carmel to get here. Sean McGee is a promising guard for FW North. It is hard to make a call here. HSE is known for being extremely talented but stumbling in tournament play. Homestead and North Side are inexperienced. Kokomo is experienced, but not quite as talented as the other teams. Pick: Kokomo

Class 3A

Greencastle

Guerin Catholic (20-3) vs. Tri-West (15-7)

Crawfordsville (12-10) vs. Edgewood (12-10)

This should be a very easy regional win for Guerin Catholic. Aaron Brennan, one of the better 2014 uncommitted players, leads Guerin and already has experience after they won the state title in Class 3A two years ago. If one of the other three teams wins this one it will be a shock. Pick: Guerin Catholic

Washington

Greensburg (24-1) vs. Silver Creek (15-8)

Evansville Memorial (16-6) vs. Jasper (14-9)

Greensburg is a heavy favorite here and is the defending champion in Class 3A. They are loaded with three Division I prospects in Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern), Sean Sellers (Ball State), and Ryan Welage, an uncommitted 6'8" 2015 prospect. Like Guerin, it would be a major shock if they lost this one. Pick: Greensburg

Kankakee Valley

Bowman Academy (19-4) vs. Andrean (13-9)

Twin Lakes (16-7) vs. South Bend St. Joseph (17-6)

Bowman is the first test case in the IHSAA's new success factor. The IHSAA now assigns four points to a school if they win a state championship, three for a semi-state, two for a regional, and one for a sectional. If a school amasses six points in a two-year period they have to move up a class in for the next two seasons. Bowman was state runner-up in 2012 and state champ last year in Class 2A, so they are playing up in 3A this season. They feature 2015 Purdue target Davon Dillard and only lost to Carmel, Ben Davis, Kokomo, and a Chicago school while playing a very rugged schedule. They should walk through this field. Pick: Bowman Academy

Blackford

Fort Wayne Dwenger (15-8) vs. NorthWood (21-2)

Muncie Central (10-11) vs. Norwell (19-6)

Like the other three regionals in Class 3A, NorthWood is a heavy favorite. One of their two losses was to Penn in Class 4A, but they have only been beyond the regional round once. Muncie Central has 6'8" 2014 prospect Tyler Arens and is one of the most decorated programs in state history. Their 10-11 record came against a 4A-heavy schedule with losses to Richmond, Guerin Catholic, Hamilton Southeastern, and a last-second win over Kokomo before Persons returned. Pick: NorthWood

Class 2A

Connersville

Indianapolis Crispus Attucks (13-9) vs. Park Tudor (20-4)

Northeastern (22-2) vs. Speedway (16-6)

This is a skewed regional toward Park Tudor, who is led by Xavier signee Trevon Bluiett. They were the 2A champions in 2011 and 2012 and are the favorite to get a third crown in four seasons. Troy Spears, a New Mexico signee, also played for Park Tudor. Northeastern has a great record, but never won a sectional before this year and Park Tudor's schedule was light years tougher. Speedway has a pretty good player in 2014 prospect Jordan Furlow, who I saw score 35 in a game this year. Pick: Park Tudor

Southridge

Linton-Stockton (19-6) vs. Perry Central (18-5)

Austin (13-10) vs. Clarksville (21-2)

Clarksville is ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 2A behind only Park Tudor, and they have a loss to Bowman Academy by three, so they are a legit good team. Linton-Stockton was the Class 2A state runner-up last season, so they have been here before. Pick: Clarksville

North Judson

Woodlan (18-6) vs. Winamac (14-8)

Hammond Noll (21-3) vs. Westview (20-4)

Hammond Noll is a pretty good team that was state runner-up in 2011 to Park Tudor. Westview has been a steady program in the class era, winning Class 2A titles in 1999 and 2000 and regional titles in 2006 and 2008. Pick: Hammond Noll

Lapel

Fountain Central (15-7) vs. Tipton (14-8)

Lewis Cass (20-2) vs. Wapahani (22-1)

Tipton has won this regional for three years running, but lost in the semi-state all three times. They are here again mostly because their sectional was very weak. The winner will likely be the Cass-Wapahani winner. Wapahani is ranked No. 3 in Class 2A and only lost to rival Frankton in December. They avenged that 19 point loss in the sectional final. They feature 6'3" guard Grant Evans, a player who signed with Wright State. Cass is one of the highest scoring teams in the state at 75 points per game and they haven't lost December 13, giving them an 18-game winning streak. Pick: Lewis Cass

Class A

Martinsville

Greenwood Christian (18-5) vs. Indianapolis Metropolitan (9-15)

Clay City (18-6) vs. Oldenburg Academy (13-9)

Indy Metropolitan was a great story in 2011. They are a charter school of kids on their second, third, or fourth chances, but they caught fire for a few weeks and won the Class A title that season. This regional features two teams (Greenwood Christian and Oldenburg Academy) that never won a sectional before this season. Clay City is the most experienced team, having won its third straight sectional. Pick: Clay City

Loogootee

Barr-Reeve (23-1) vs. Trinity Lutheran (16-6)

Northeast Dubois (11-12) vs. Lanesville (15-8)

Barr-Reeve is one of the most successful small public programs in the state. Their lone loss was against Elizabethtown Kentucky and they have been to the Class A title game three times, but have never won it. They entered the tournament as the No. 1 team in Class A. Pick: Barr-Reeve

Triton

Culver (16-7) vs. North White (16-8)

Marquette Catholic (16-6) vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk (16-9)

Marquette has a Division I player in Ryan Fazekas, who is a 6'7" 2015 recruit that has already committed to Providence. They are the No. 3 rated team in Class A and only Fort Wayne Blackhawk can likely challenge them. Pick: Marquette Catholic

Frankfort

Seton Catholic (15-7) vs. Liberty Christian (18-6)

Rossville (16-8) vs. Lafayette Central Catholic (15-8)

Central Catholic is always one of the best Class A programs and they have reached at least the regional round every season but one in the Class era. That's 16 sectional titles in 17 years. They have also won eight regionals, four semi-states, and three state titles in that time, but no state titles since 2003. They won this regional last year and are favored again. Pick: Lafayette Central Catholic

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