At Kansas Expocentre, Topeka
No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas (13-9) —Aquinas coach Sean Reilly feels like the team's record is a little deceiving — the Saints' rough schedule prepared them for state. Now the Saints will look to ride the momentum that led them to state, which included knocking off Bubba Starling and Gardner-Edgerton in the sub-state final.
No. 4 Andover Central (16-5) —The Jaguars might be the most intriguing team in the tournament with their size — Adam Wilks (6-foot-8) and Boston Stiverson (6-4). If opponents decide to double-team the post players, Central has proven it can make opponents pay by hitting the outside shot, led by Chris McWhorter. Central has qualified for state seven out of the last nine years now.
No. 8 Bishop Miege (11-11) —No one wants to face the defending state champion in the first round as an eight seed. Even after a 1-6 start to the season, Bishop Miege has found a way back to the state tournament for the 11th time in the last 12 years. The key in making another run lies in senior post Curtis Okafor, who averages 17.8 points and almost double-digit rebounds.
No. 1 McPherson (21-1) —There might not be a better combo in the state than Christian Ulsaker and Jack Pyle. While they have picked up contributions from the supporting cast along the way, this tournament will likely be about how far this duo can carry the team.
No. 7 Emporia (11-11) —It wasn't always pretty in Beau Welch's first season at Emporia. The team sat at 4-9 at one point. But Welch said things finally started to turn around and the team finished on a 7-2 roll. Emporia is a balanced team, but will look to Jackson Perez and Brandon Gentz to score.
No. 2 KC Washington (20-2) —The Wildcats like to get out in the open floor and run their opponents out of the gym. Leading the way is TraVaughn White, who averages 22.9 points. Washington has balanced scoring behind him with Michael Hibler, Kalen Allen, Jervon Hooks and Rakim McCoy.
No. 6 Bishop Carroll (13-9) —Coach Lonnie Lollar has been able to get Carroll to state four out of his six seasons mainly because of his team's defense — the Eagles allowed 47.2 points per game this season. A lot of the offense is generated through Brian Rohleder and Ben Dreiling. If Carroll can keep games at its pace, then it could make another surprise run as it did three years ago when it made it to the state championship game.
No. 3 Lansing (17-4) —Lansing has qualified for state two of the last three years after going 19 years in between appearances before that. Lansing prides itself in its defense, which has kept nine opponents under the 40-point mark this season.
Aquinas-Andover Central winner vs. Miege-McPherson winner, 4:45 p.m.
Carroll-Lansing winner vs. Emporia-KC Washington winner, 8:15
Third-place game, 2 p.m.
The Eagle's Picks
Joanna Chadwick: KC Washington over McPherson
Chris Elliott: McPerson over KC Washington