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BALL FIVE: B is any team’s to win

There are five state basketball tournaments this weekend. I don’t think any of them have the potential for more drama than the Class B boys might have from the tipoff of game one to the crowning of the state champions.
All I have to tell you is Viborg-Hurley is the eighth seed. The Cougars have lost twice this year. So the first game of the tourney will pit the number one seed White River Tigers at 20-2 vs. Viborg-Hurley at 21-2. The eight seed actually has a higher winning percentage than the one seed. That, of course, is because Viborg-Hurley has played one more game.
All eight of the higher seeds won last week in the SoDak 16. The eight best teams in state are playing in the final tournament. That simply never happens.
Like everyone else, Timber Lake has a tough matchup in the first round. The Panthers, the number two seed, take on seven seed Bridgewater-Emery. The Huskies have four losses, the most of any team in the tourney, but they were also the number one team in Class B to start the year and took third in state last year and won the title two years ago.
There are five teams back from last March. Sully Buttes is the defending state champion and the six seed. Clark/Willow Lake took second and is the three seed. Bridgewater-Emery beat White River for third and the Panthers won the consolation title.
Here is the first round: Number one, White River (20-2) vs. number 8, Viborg-Hurley (21-2); number four, Jones County (19-2) vs. number five, De Smet (21-2); number two, Timber Lake (18-2) vs. number seven, Bridgewater-Emery (19-4); number three, Clark/Willow Lake (20-2) vs. number six, Sully Buttes (19-3).
If you want the numbers, the eight teams have a combined record of 157 wins and 17 losses. How did Timber Lake get the number two seed while having the least amount of wins? Beating Class A Mobridge-Pollock and Winner didn’t hurt a bit. The Panthers played a strong enough schedule that the two games they lost due to the weather did not hurt them one bit.
But I don’t really think that in this tournament it really matters which seed you are. All eight teams are heading to Aberdeen with real hopes of winning three games and being crowned the Class B state champions. It will be fun to watch how this plays out.