Only half of the remaining eight teams in Class 7A were seeded in the top 10 teams as the postseason began.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the remaining teams are full of big surprises though as the bracket still has a number of teams that you’d fully expect to have advance to this point.
First-round record: 14-2
Second-round record: 7-1
Mount Carmel vs. Brother Rice: Mount Carmel played its most competitive game of the season in a matchup with Brother Rice in Week 6. The Caravan played a little short-handed in Round 2 but still managed to gradually pull away from Downers Grove North. But if Mount Carmel still isn’t at full strength, Brother Rice’s odds of flipping the script certainly increase.
Pick: Mt. Carmel
St. Charles North vs. St. Rita: After a loss in Week 1 to Palatine, St. Charles North has been on a major roll with wins over two other teams still in the 7A field (Lake Zurich and Batavia) during a 10-game winning streak. St. Rita has quietly been flying under the radar after taking two losses early in the season to powerhouses Mount Carmel and Loyola.
Pick: St. Rita
Batavia vs. Yorkville: It’s hard to imagine a scenario where either of these teams could play a more dramatic game than the one each went through in Round 2 of the playoffs, Batavia survived a double overtime thriller to oust Hersey, while Yorkville needed four overtimes to finally topple Moline. It looks another potential tight game between two fairly evenly matched opponents.
Pekin vs. Lake Zurich: It looks like a matchup of polar opposites here as Lake Zurich leans on its defense to set the tone and has only allowed 12 points in the playoffs and held defending Class 7A champions Wheaton North to just six points in Round 2. Pekin on the other hand often seems content to try to outscore its foes and survived a 32-31 shootout with Normal Community to advance to the quarterfinals.
Pick: Lake Zurich