~ From the Braintrust ~
The pandemic saw many changes for area sports teams, and in basketball, a major change for basketball teams came in the form of reseeding teams following regional play. The change allowed the WIAA to ensure the matchups in each sectional were equitable for all four teams making it to sectional play.
No argument there.
The other change this year is that the top seeded teams will be hosting play at sectionals. Unlike past seasons, when neutral sites were chosen, the higher seeded teams hold a huge advantage this year.
No argument there, either.
What happened to area teams, however, is that they all are going on the road for their sectional semifinal matchups. The four teams have been seeded 1-4, (based on criteria that The Braintrust cannot locate)
- Athens is a #3 seed, on the road at Suring.
- Assumption is a #2 seed, at home.
- Auburndale is a #3 seed, on the road at Cochrane-Fountain City.
- Phillips is a #1 seed, and hosts #4 Clear Lake.
- Edgar is a #3 seed, and travels to #2 Fall Creek.
- Medford is a #3 seed, and travels to #2 Onalaska.
- Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln is a #4 seed, and travels to #1 Hudson.
All of the above, make sense.
- Neillsville is a #3 seed, and travels to #2 St. Croix Falls
This is where it gets interesting.
Falls won their conference, the Heart of the North, with a 15-1 record, 21-1 overall.
Neillsville won the Cloverbelt with a 14-0 record, 20-1 overall.
Those making the decision to place Falls as the #2 seed and Neillsville as the #3 seed perhaps are falling back on a proposed new ‘formula’ that was potentially going to be used for ranking tournament teams this year.
If so, here’s a request for access to the data and formulas used by the WIAA. From the perspective of the Braintrust, Neillsville deserved to be the #2 seed.
Good luck to all area girls basketball teams in their journey to sectionals!
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