In the NCAA Tournament, the most interesting game of the opening weekend is often the #8 vs #9 Matchup, and in fact, the #9 seed has actually won more games in the history of the NCAA Tournament!
In the Minnesota AAU world, the 8/9 game gets even more interesting, and here is why… A lot of times there is some seeding-meeting drama about who gets those two spots. The #8 gets to play to move up in the Super Pools while #9 has to win to keep the #9. So, if the seeds hold, that contention finally gets to be settled on the court.
Lets run down those games.
Minnesota Fury 2019 Yellow vs North Tartan Herbie – this game is interesting, as the Fury dropped all 4 games last weekend to drop from #5 to #8. NT has some scorers in Ashley Gustavson from Mankato West and Ani Tschida from Lakeville North. The Fury counter with a barrage of shooters, led by Madeline Rice of Forest Lake and Anna Sanders from White Bear Lake.
This is the Battle of the Heat, and it wasn’t supposed to be this way. MN Heat Hinck ended up #8 after a disappointing weekend where they dropped down a few slots. #9 MN Heat Dineen ended up in a 3-way tie in Pool C, and won the 9 via a tiebreaker. It’s all going to settle out on the floor, but this may be one of the least intriguing of these games. Karis Zezza from STMA is a standout for Dineen’s squad.
Crossfire Schuck got tossed around a little bit last weekend by some of the high powered 2021 teams in the State, so they come in as the #8 seed and will face off against North Tartan Dickman. Balanced scoring last weekend by Crossfire, while North Tartan got really good weekends from Peyton Blandin from Famrington and Gianna Kneepkens from Duluth Marshal. Keep an eye out for Sophie Wood as someone who could really come in moving forward.
Minnesota Fury 2022 Yellow fell all the way down from the #4 seed to #8. They will face DTA Academy, who got a nice win over So-Minn Fury 2022 in their final game. DTA is many players from the solid MN Comets 2022 team from last year. Maddie James is one to watch for DTA, she had 17 in the So-Minn game. Fury counters with Amelia Valentino who led the division with 7 made threes two weeks ago.
Oh the drama in this one. UVA Lady Rebels fought to get seeded, and their prize was a weekends worth of very tough games where the came out 0-4. Now they face a Fury Yellow team where two Rebels resided last year (Isabella Divson and Alexa Marsh). The Rebels get a boost from Kylie Waytashek a 2024 post from Bemidji. Burnsville’s Shawna Bruha averaged double-digits for the Fury last weekend. This should be a fun one!
MN Stars Buerman lost to NT Such by 23 points in the game to decide 7/8. They will come in to face a hungry MN Comets team who went 3-0 and won all their games by single digits. Taylor Tool was a consistent scorer for the Comets last weekend.