Everyone loves a good list of predictions, so I figured why not humor you with my ultra-educated picks (note the sarcasm). Obviously, this will be solid bulletin board material for someone, and without question a call out or two on Twitter. Without further ado, let the fun begin. Oh and by the way, Eric Frantz is going to go offer up his picks too…Enjoy.
Division III Picks
Cleveland VASJ vs. Columbus Bishop Ready
The Vikings are a heavy favorite to cut down the nets, but don’t sleep on Bishop Ready, a team very few are giving a fighter’s chance. The Silver Knights are strong, physical, experienced, and play terrific defense. VASJ comes into the game with a never-ending list of quality players headlined by juniors Brian Parker, Carlton Bragg, and Derek Pardon. However, the greatest factor may be the play of junior point guard Mo Johnson and classmate, shooting guard Simon Texidor IV. All of the starters average double figures with the exception of Johnson, but he isn’t asked to score on team filled with guys that can put the orange ball through the cylinder. The Vikings average 26 points per game more than Ready, but the Silver Knights are allowing 12 fewer points. Ready starts all seniors, while VASJ goes with all juniors. This will be Ready’s last chance with this group of seasoned veterans, while VASJ welcomes back almost its entire roster. If you are looking for an edge for Ready, that may be it. The VASJ height advantage has to be a concern for Ready, which could result in easy putbacks for Bragg and Pardon and one-and-done trips on offense. Ready can’t let this game get into a track meet. It’s hard to pick against Joe’s, so we won’t.
The Pick: Cleveland VASJ over Ready
Eric’s Pick: Cleveland VASJ over Ready
Cincinnati Roger Bacon vs. Lima Central Catholic
This has the makings of a classic, and could be the best game of the tournament. Two teams with a combined (53-1) record. Convoy Crestview is the only undefeated team in the state and Tri-Village is (72-6) over the past three seasons. Convoy Crestview comes into the tournament giving up a tournament low of just below 41 points per game. Tri-Village is allowing just 43 points per game, while scoring 73 points per game. Crestview comes to the court led by three seniors in Damian Helm, Cam Etzler, and Tyson Bolenbaugh. The Patriots counter with a trio of senior Tyler Cook, and juniors Colton Linkous and Damion Cook. Though, it could be the supporting cast that is the deciding the factor. Sophomore Tyler Vanwinkle of Tri-Village and sophomore Connor Lautzenheiser are both more than capable of having big games. These two are arguably the best teams in Division IV. We have been on the Convoy train all season, and recently moved up seats on the Tri-Village wagon. This should be a fantastic contest, but in the end, Crestview should find a way to get it done like it has all season.