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Boys basketball state tournament primer

The winter state tournament season wraps this week with boys basketball taking centerstage. Quarterfinal action tips off Wednesday, with Class 4A quarterfinal games played at Target Center, while Class 3A will be at Williams Arena.

Class 2A quarterfinals will be split between Target Center and Williams Arena.

Then, on Thursday, Class A tips off in the Timberwolves’ home arena.

All semifinals and finals across all four classes are played at “The Barn.”

Quarterfinal action can be viewed on https://nspn.tv/MSHSL, while semifinals and finals will air locally on KSTC-Channel 45.

Here’s what to watch for this week:

Class 4A: Defending state champion Wayzata returns as the top seed and favorite to defend its crown. The Trojans (27-1) have just one loss all season, which came to Hopkins, whom Wayzata downed by 29 in its section final.

Creighton commit Jackson McAndrew is the best player in the state, and the Trojans have plenty of skill around him.

Wayzata certainly will be challenged. Last year’s runner up – Park Center – features an imposing starting five led by Jackson Fowlkes and Washington commit Casmir Chavis. Third-seeded Minnetonka can score with anyone in the state.

In contrast, Cretin-Derham Hall is generally elite defensively, and then there’s Farmington, making its first state tournament appearance in 87 years.

Class 3A: A three-peat seems likely for top-seeded Totino-Grace, whose only losses to Minnesota teams this season were against Class 4A competition. The Eagles are led by Miami commit Isaiah Johnson-Arigu.

But a potential second-round matchup with fifth-seeded DeLaSalle could prove interesting. The Islanders have also gone toe to toe with a number of 4A heavyweights this season. Nothing Totino-Grace presents would stun DeLaSalle.

A hat tip to Minneapolis South, who’s back at state for the first time in 32 years, one year after posting a six-win campaign. The Tigers will meet third-seeded Alexandria, led by 6-foot-9 Gophers commit Grayson Grove.

If you’re looking for a show, Chisago Lakes’ 6-foot-7 senior Patrick Rowe is known for his highlight reel jams.

Class 2A: Badgers commit Daniel Freitag leads top-seeded Breck into state for just the second time in the Mustangs’ program history, and the first time since 2006. Breck has a number of impressive wins on its resume this season, yet could face an interesting semifinal date with conference rival Minnehaha Academy.

The Redhawks are the defending state runners-up. They’re led by guard Lorenzo Levy, who’s averaging 18 points per game.

Second-seeded Albany is the defending state champ. It played just one metro team this season – a win over Minnehaha Academy. The Huskies have won 22 straight games.

Class A: Top-seeded Cherry is led by Gophers commit Isaac Asuma. The senior guard is in pursuit of a state title that’s proven elusive in two previous trips to Minneapolis.

Cherry’s quarterfinal opponent? None other than the defending state champion, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton.

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