IHSA bracket breakdown
Staff writer Marcus Jackson's 10 thoughts after seeing the IHSA playoff brackets Saturday:
– Looks like Danville won't have to scramble to find game film of its first-round opponent, Normal Community. The Vikings and Ironmen squared off Friday night, with Normal Community prevailing 47-14. Tough draw for B.J. Luke's squad, but games aren't won on paper.
– Monticello was the only area school with five wins to be left out of the postseason. The Sages failed to pick up their sixth win Friday night, dropping an Okaw Valley contest to Decatur St. Teresa. Coach John Beccue had a feeling five wins wouldn't be enough to get his team into the playoffs.
– The big thing for Tuscola is that it's back in Class 1A, which should make the road to Champaign easier for the Warriors. But Tuscola is familiar with its first-round opponent. The Warriors defeated Carrollton 34-8 in the second round last year on their way to the Class 1A crown.
– The Corn Belt Conference, which Mahomet-Seymour is a member of, has four teams in the lower half of the Class 4A bracket (Eureka/Roanoke-Benson, Bloomington Central Catholic, M-S and Rochester). Those teams are all familiar with one another, and Eureka/R-B and BCC face one another in a rematch of their Week 1 tilt, while the Bulldogs will play the winner of that game if they win their first-round game.
– The News-Gazette area is well represented in Class 1A. Of the 16 area schools that made the playoffs, six of them are in the state's smallest class (Ridgeview, Villa Grove, Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon, Tuscola, Arcola and Salt Fork.
– Good to see St. Joseph-Ogden get a top seed in Class 3A. The Spartans have been ranked No. 1 in the state poll all season and are the early favorite to win it all. We had a classic between SJ-O and Unity in the second round of last year's playoffs, but if the two were to meet again this year, it would be at Memorial Stadium.
– Area fans won't have to travel far to see their favorite teams play on the first weekend of the playoffs. Seven teams will host first-round games. With how great the weather has been for this time of year, that should make for some pretty good crowds.
– Of the 128 first-round games, only one features two area schools. In Class 2A, No. 2 Westville is hosting No. 7 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley. It's a matchup area fans are sure to take an interest in. And don't think the Tigers will take the Falcons lightly.
– The News-Gazette's Top 10 was treated well by the folks at the IHSA. Seven of the 10 (Westville, SJ-O, Tuscola, Salt Fork, Arcola, St. Thomas More and Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon) will stay home the first weekend. Mahomet-Seymour, Unity and Dan-ville will pack their bags and hit the road.
– Champaign Central has made the playoffs four times in the last eight years, but coach Dave Jacobs has coached in the postseason in seven of the last eight years. His Rochester teams made it to the playoffs in each of his last five seasons there. And in his third year at Central, Jacobs has the Maroons in the postseason for the second time.