Every season, no matter the sport, when the WIAA releases playoff brackets there are always questions about why certain teams were given seeds.
That proved true Sunday when the boys basketball brackets were released. Neenah (Division 1), Seymour (Division 2) and N.E.W. Lutheran (Division 5) were seeded No. 1 without much doubt, as were others.
But what about Bay Port (13-7, 11-4) with more losses than De Pere (15-6, 13-2) and residing in fourth place in the Fox River Classic Conference getting the No. 1 seed over the Redbirds, who are co-leaders of the FRCC? It appears Bay Port’s win over De Pere played a role as did the divisions within the FRCC.
Bay Port is in the the tougher West Division of the FRCC and had to play Ashwaubenon and Pulaski twice each, while De Pere’s biggest challenge in the East Division was Green Bay Preble. De Pere is 9-0 vs. the East and 4-2 vs. the West, while Bay Port is 5-4 vs. the West and 6-0 vs. the East.
Most coaches will tell you in the long run the seed means little. If these teams play up to their level they will be able to settle which is the better team on the court in a sectional semifinal.
Nevertheless, why do coaches fight for a seed during seed meetings then? Because it can mean something.
De Pere likely will face Kimberly in a regional final and the No. 3 Papermakers won at De Pere this season. Surely, the Redbirds aren’t afraid of any challenge, but their road appears more difficult as a No. 2 seed.
Division 1 wasn’t the only bracket that was interesting. Let’s go down to Division 2, where Seymour was seeded No. 1 in a bracket that looks like a state tournament bracket.
Seymour being No. 1 isn’t the story here, it’s the bracket. Following Seymour is Ashwaubenon, West De Pere, Pulaski, Kaukauna and Xavier, which leads the Eastern Valley Conference. All but Kaukauna have a chance to at least share a conference title.
Xavier (16-4, 12-3) at No. 6 is eye-raising in the sense it leads the Eastern Valley Conference. Normally, conference leaders are given an edge in seed meetings, but not here.
The guess is Kaukauna (received the No. 5 seed ahead of Xavier because it plays in the Fox Valley Association, which means two games each against Division 1 powers Neenah and Oshkosh North. The FVA is stronger than the Eastern Valley and that allowed Kaukauna to be placed at No. 5.
That’s not really a great advantage as the Ghosts have to play at defending state champ Pulaski in a regional semifinal.
In Division 3 it’s not a stretch two teams from Northeast Wisconsin could meet in a state semifinal. One half of the bracket has Peshtigo, Roncalli and Little Chute seeded No. 1.
Little Chute and Peshtigo could meet in a sectional semifinal, while Roncalli and No. 2 Valders could meet in a sectional semifinal. The winners would then meet in a sectional final.
That team could face Laconia, a No. 1 seed on the other side of bracket in a state semifinal if Laconia can maneuver through its bracket.
In Division 4, 2012 Division 3 state champ Brillion is seeded No. 1. Normally, a Division 3 team, Brillion could be in store for another state run.
Meanwhile, N.E.W. Lutheran appears poised for a state run in Division 5. The Blazers’ only loss this season was 55-53 at Pulaski.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay