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The first basketball postseason seeds (Class 1A and 2A girls basketball) will be released on Thursday.
The next three Thursdays will see 3A and 4A girls basketball seeds released (Jan. 24), 1A and 2A boys basketball seeds released (Jan. 31) and 3A and 4A boys basketball seeds released (Feb. 7).
Here’s an early prediction at where all six of our coverage schools will fall in the seeding pool at the five regional sites they’ll compete at in February.
1. Class 3A Champaign Centennial Regional (boys) — Rantoul Township High School head coach Brett Frerichs’ team will have to play its best basketball of the season to emerge with a regional title. Aside from the Eagles and host Chargers, Champaign Central, Mahomet-Seymour and Urbana are in the five-team field. We see RTHS as the third seed, behind Urbana (No. 2) and top seed Centennial, with Mahomet-Seymour coming in fourth and Champaign Central fifth.
2. Class 3A Rantoul Regional (girls) — The host Eagles will have to overcome a powerful Centennial squad that will likely garner the top seed, along with Champaign Central, Mahomet-Seymour and Urbana to walk away with the program’s first regional title since 1998. We’ll slot head coach Jeff McKaufsky’s team in at No. 4, with Central at No. 2 and Mahomet-Seymour at No. 3. If this holds true, a likely regional quarterfinal game with the Eagles against No. 5 Urbana would ensue for the second straight year.
3. Class 1A Heritage Regional (boys) — The seven-team regional in Broadlands will include Fisher and Armstrong-Potomac, who will have to improve tenfold by February if either team wants to move on. We like Cissna Park as the top seed, followed by the host Hawks at No. 2, Judah Christian at No. 3 and Urbana Uni High at No. 4. Fisher falls into the fifth seed, with Villa Grove at No. 6 and A-P checking in with the seventh seed.
4. Class 1A Armstrong-Potomac Regional (girls) — The six-team field that will play at Robert L. Bezely Gymnasium is a solid one. We like the host Trojans as the second seed behind top seed Cissna Park, with Danville Schlarman checking in with the third seed, followed by Milford at No. 4, Salt Fork at No. 5 and Buckley Christ Lutheran at No. 6. Whoever makes it out of this regional will have earned it.
5. Class 1A TBA Regional (girls) — Fisher is in this five-team regional that is still looking for a host, according to the Illinois High School Association. The Bunnies have motivation to make it out of the regional since they’re hosting a sectional this year. We’ll peg Ken Ingold’s young team into the second slot based on the superb competition they’ve seen from the Heart of Illinois Conference this season, with Judah Christian the top seed and Heritage checking in at No. 3, with Urbana Uni High at No. 4 and Blue Ridge at No. 5. In this regional, wherever it ends up taking place, throw the seeds out the window.