Last year, Real Athletics (now UVA Rebels) came into the State Tournament at the 7th grade level as the #9 seed and got all the way to the final. We thought it would be interesting to look at the brackets and see what teams have a chance to do something similar… and something we think might never have been done.
That feat is to come in as a double-digit seed, and make the Final Four in a D1 bracket. Here are our best shots…
2019: #11 MN Rise Wolfe – they have one of the most dynamic players in the tournament, Joey Batt. If they could beat MN Suns Jefferson, they would face a MN Stars Nelson team who has been up (lost to NT-Coury by 3) and down (lost to Jefferson and Stars Amundson).
2020: #12 MN Rise Martin – this is a team who has had a great start to the season. They have a winnable game in the first round vs Fury Yellow, followed up by #4 Suns Michaud (most likely).
2021: #13 MN/WI Force 2021 – This is a pretty good team… who won games by big margins last weekend. Tough two games to win in Suns Coley and likely Tayler Hill… but both those squads had ups and downs last weekend.
2022: #10 So-Minn Fury 2022 – not an easy path, but this is not a #10 seed team. They beat their first round opponent last season. The game vs NT Contreras would be tough, but you never know.
2023: #13 Metro Stars 2023 – Ellen Weise’s group is a team who has experience playing with and against the top teams both in AAU and traveling. North Tartan Kuppe is a little banged up, so it’s a decent matchup for them, and if they got that one… MN Suns Foss would likely await, and I’m sayin’ there’s a chance.
2024: #10 MN Stars Holman – Here is a team that wiped the floor with the competition in the Prelims. Their road is decent for them, as the top three placers from last year’s State Championship (Tayler Hill, NT Ohnstead, Stars Gardner) are on the other side of the bracket.