In six days, I'll probably deny I ever wrote the following. So clip this out and save it so you can harass me later.
With the high school boys basketball sectionals starting this week, here are predictions for those involving area schools (picks in bold):
Sectional 8: I like the draw for defending 4A state champion Carmel, which is on the opposite side of the bracket from North Central and Hamilton Southeastern and playing on its home floor.
9: Any one of Richmond, Anderson, Pendleton Heights, Connersville and host New Castle has a chance.
10: Maybe I'm crazy. But even with two starters out for disciplinary reasons, I'll take Cathedral to slip past Lawrence North, Roncalli and Tech to advance at Warren Central.
11: Look for Pike to upend Ben Davis in a highly-competitive title game.
12: At 11-9, Martinsville is the lone team in the field above .500, but I'll take Terre Haute North to defeat the Artesians in the semifinals and advance to the regional.
13: Franklin Central has a bye into the semifinals. I'll take the Flashes over New Palestine for the championship.
14: Second-ranked Columbus North will win its first sectional in 16 years but it won't be easy.
24: Hamilton Heights is the pick, edging host Muncie Central for the title.
25: For its first sectional title since 2002, Lebanon will likely have to go through host Frankfort in the championship.
26: Host Mt. Vernon will have to knock off Brebeuf Jesuit and defending 3A champion Guerin Catholic.
27: Northwest vs. host Danville is potentially a very good championship game.
38: Host Delphi could get its toughest test from Sheridan in the first round.
40: Wapahani hasn't won a sectional since 1999 and will probably have to get through host Lapel and Frankton.
41: Host Hagerstown's last sectional title was in 1965.
42: Park Tudor could see Broad Ripple in the semifinals, a team it lost to recently. Still, the Panthers are a heavy favorite to win a third consecutive state title.
43: Look for Scecina to get past Washington for its first sectional crown in 10 years.
44: Speedway should navigate its way through field at South Putnam.
57: It's surprising host White River Valley hasn't won a sectional in nine years.
58: A wide-open field at University, but Tindley has a good draw on heels of a 14-win season.
59: This is a very competitive field. Look for host Edinburgh to avenge earlier loss to unbeaten Waldron in the semifinals.
Road to Terre Haute
The nomadic girls basketball state tournament will conclude Saturday with the four state finals games at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute.
This is the second year the Indiana High School Athletic Association has hosted the finals in Terre Haute and the fourth venue (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne) in six years.
Though IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox has stated that the organization is committed to finding a permanent home for the girls state finals, coaches clearly aren't happy that the finals have bounced around.
"I heard a guy say this and I'm not sure I would take it this far, but he's probably right," Southwestern of Shelbyville coach Bill Taylor said after his team's 58-50 loss to Vincennes Rivet in Saturday's Class A semistate. "If you picked four old guys from a barber shop who hate girls basketball, you probably couldn't put together a worse tournament together."
It's not only the transient location of the finals, but the timing. Boys basketball sectional championship games are played on the same day as the girls state finals.
"That's the time when most people's interest in the state is going to be focused on their area," Taylor said.
Time to chat
Join me at noon Tuesday at Indystar.com for a live chat on the boys basketball sectionals.