DeLaSalle to defend title as top seed; Four teams making first appearances
The coaches have selected the top seeds in all four classes for the third time — Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in Class A, Annandale in Class AA, DeLaSalle of Minneapolis in Class AAA, and Hopkins in Class AAAA. DeLaSalle is also the only school returning to defend its 2013 title. If the Islanders win it would be their third consecutive and eighth overall title. Four teams are making first appearances: Park Christian of Moorhead, Fond du Lac Ojibwe of Cloquet, and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in Class A, and St. Paul Academy and Summit School in Class AA. This is the 18th year of the four-class format and the 11th year that all games are being played in Minneapolis. This year and the next four years the boys’ basketball tournament will precede the girls’ basketball tournament because Target Center is hosting the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff tournament. The seeding process had all 32 coaches of the section champions log onto a special page of the League Web site. Each coach then ranked the other teams in their class one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top five teams were seeded. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Kevin Merkle announced the top five seeds. Tom Critchley, representing the boys’ basketball coaches association, then blindly drew the three remaining teams to establish the opponent for each seeded team. Numbers four and five automatically play each other. The 2014 State Boys’ Basketball Tournament starts Wednesday, March 12. Quarterfinal games will be played at Target Center on Wednesday, March 12, and at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis on both Wednesday and Thursday, March 12 and 13. Semifinals will be played at Target Center on Thursday March 13 and Friday March 14. The championship games of all four classes will be played at Target Center on Saturday March 15. Third-place games will be played on Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.