The bracket in question included undefeated teams Sheboygan North and Kimberly. Slotted in the same Division 1 bracket somebody had to be No. 1 and the other No. 2.
Each team had good arguments for its side but when it was all said and done, North was No. 1 and Kimberly was No. 2. I had somebody on Monday morning tell me, “Kimberly got screwed.”
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Last week, Kimberly coach Troy Cullen said his nonconference schedule could be the difference — Kimberly beat Whitefish Bay (16-4), Pius XI (18-2), Oak Creek (19-2) and Merrill (13-7). The combined record for those nonconference opponents is 70-15.
Meanwhile, North beat Milwaukee Vincent (11-9), West Bend West (5-14), Appleton West (6-14) and Kettle Moraine Lutheran (19-1), which is one of the state’s best Division 3 teams. The nonconference opponents combined record is 41-38.
Based off that, Kimberly should’ve gotten the nod.
Conference-wise, the Fox Valley Association, where Kimberly competes, has five teams above .500 this season, while the Fox River Classic Conference, where North competes, has six. Maybe the FRCC is a better league, but not by a wide margin.
Perhaps the biggest factor was Kimberly is the only FVA school in the bracket, which includes eight other FRCC schools. When situations occur like this it’s not a shock for conference coaches to vote for their conference team in the seed meeting.
Because of the seeds, potential regional final matchups could be North versus Green Bay Southwest, a team it held to 11 points during their regular-season meeting, while Kimberly could meet De Pere, which Kimberly beat last year in a regional final when the Redbirds, seeded No. 1, were riding a 44-game winning streak.
Kimberly looks to have a potentially tougher regional final game.
Bottom line is, if you believe you’re a No. 1 seed then what’s the worry? You expect to win and at some point you have to beat good teams in the postseason.
The seed number besides a team name doesn’t indicate which team is going to win and eventually get to state. The number is just that, a number.
Kimberly has a resume of a No. 1 team, and if I had a vote, I would’ve voted the Papermakers No. 1. Nonetheless, Kimberly has the same chance as North to reach state and could play the Golden Raiders along the way to settle the score.
Too often what a team is seeded becomes too much of a story. It’s fun to talk about, but it guarantees nothing.
Kimberly, no matter its seed is good enough to reach the Resch Center, and I don’t need a seed number to tell me that.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay