Nothing against the other three local sectionals — especially the 2A at Paoli, which should be fantastic — the place to be in March is clearly Seymour.
That's not just locally, that's statewide. Maybe nationally. It's hard to imagine there's going to be a more intriguing tournament anywhere in the nation than the sectional at Seymour.
Here's the stat to know: Taking away the games they've played against each other, New Albany, Floyd Central and Jeffersonville are a combined 51-2 this season. Both losses came in overtime. Floyd Central's came in the Hall of Fame Classic. The Highlanders were beaten by fourth-ranked Bloomington South without two of its starters available due to illness. Jeffersonville's loss came against one of Kentucky's top teams — Valley — in a thriller.
Combined, the three teams are winning their games by more than 22 points per game. These numbers are astonishing.
In the history of boys' basketball, has there ever been three teams going to one sectional with such impressive resumés?
"I've been fortunate to play in some really good other sectionals along the way," said Jeffersonville coach Joe Luce, who also coached at state powers Marion and Richmond, "but this is definitely the best. Whoever comes out of our sectional, I hope is the state champion. We're going to do everything we can to be that team."
Then there's Bedford North Lawrence. Normally, the 12-7 Stars would be a serious sectional contender, if not the favorite. This year, BNL is considered an also-ran by most.
"Here's one thing you can't forget about our sectional: You can not sleep on Bedford North Lawrence," Luce said. "They're going to be dangerous. ... While those are the three teams to beat, don't forget about Bedford. I think they can knock someone off and cause some trouble."
If you have a team in a field at Paoli, Borden or North Harrison, go enjoy it. But if you don't have a horse in the race and you're just a general basketball fan, get yourself to Seymour. And act fast. Tickets aren't going to last long.
Everyone knows one of the NTSPY Player of the Year finalists. Spoiler alert: He's going to win it for the fourth year in a row.
So who will be the other two finalists?
The coaches and a panel make the final decision, but in my opinion, New Albany senior Sean East should be a lock. As Mike Hutsell tweeted this weekend, of the 414 IHSAA teams in Indiana, East would be the best on approximately 400 of them. East should also be an Indiana All-Star as long as the Bulldogs make a deep tournament run.
The third? It's going to be tough to choose, just like last year. Henryville's Nick Walker, the Floyd Central duo of Luke Gohmann and Cobie Barnes, Silver Creek's Zane Gross and Jeffersonville's Bailey Falkenstein, who was a finalist last season, have made good cases. There's probably also time for Christian Academy's Noah Williams, Rock Creek's Terrance Browning and Clarksville's Christian Stewart to make a push for the first team.
The third finalist will probably come down to who performs in the postseason.
THE FUTURE IS HERE
One thing that has struck me this season is how much freshmen have contributed to good varsity teams this season.
Of course, the best example is at Silver Creek, where Kooper Jacobi and Trey Kaufman are already contributing to a 14-5 team.
Two more have caught my eye of late. Providence's Nick Sexton and Jeffersonville's Jaylen Fairman have recently emerged as serious threats. Sexton looked good Friday against New Albany and Fairman had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Red Devils' win at Jennings County on Saturday. Ty Crace is also contributing at Charlestown and should have a nice future for the Pirates.
This comes on the heels of a 2020 class that features Julien Hunter, Trey Hourigan and Darian Starks of New Albany, Jacob Jones and Tre Coleman of Jeffersonville and Bailey Conrad of Christian Academy.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
NOAH WILLIAMS, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
The Warrior senior put up 29 points and hit the game winner in double overtime of Tuesday's 60-58 win over Lanesville. Two nights later, he scored 29 again — this time in a 75-68 victory over Trinity Lutheran.
• Terrance Browning, Rock Creek: Browning scored a team-best 29 points in Friday's 77-68 loss at Spencer County (Ky.).
• Bailey Falkenstein, Jeffersonville: Falkenstein poured in 25 in the Devils' 91-58 blowout win at Evansville Reitz on Saturday.
• Zane Gross, Silver Creek: Gross scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half of the Dragons' MSC-clinching 57-36 win at Scottsburg.
• Romeo Langford, New Albany: Langford scored 53 points in the Bulldogs' 92-44 win at Providence.
• Christian Stewart, Clarksville: In Friday's 70-53 win at Salem, Stewart scored 23 points and was a perfect 5-of-5 at the foul line.
• 1. New Albany (19-1, No. 1 last week): The Bulldogs have won 16 games in a row and that's likely to reach 18 heading into the postseason.
• 2. Floyd Central (18-1, 2): The Highlanders continue to be 1b. They've won 11 in a row.
• 3. Jeffersonville (17-3, 3): New Albany and Floyd are the favorites heading into the postseason, but the Devils are lurking.
• 5. Henryville (17-3, 4): Of all the impressive winning streaks in the area, the Hornets' is best at 17 after beating New Washington and Crawford County.
• 4. Silver Creek (14-5, 5): The Dragons clinched the MSC title with a win at Scottsburg.
• 6. Clarksville (14-5, 6): Like Jeff, the Generals are darkhorses but are playing their best basketball at the right time.
• 7. Christian Academy (9-7, 7): The Warriors had their 5-game winning streak snapped at Clarksville, but the Warriors have recently played like the Warriors we expected all season.
• 8. Providence (7-12, 8): The Pioneers aren't a team potential opponents will want to see in Sunday's sectional draw.
• 9. Borden (7-9, 9): Like usual, Doc Nash has gotten the most out of the Braves. They'll be a dangerous team at home in the sectional.
• 10. Rock Creek (5-15, 10): Terrance Browning is really, really good. Good enough to carry a team to a sectional title? We'll see.