Southern Illinois last area team standing

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Basketball, basketball and more basketball. That has been the main story in the sports world this past week.

Locally, the Boylan Titans made it to the Class AA state quarterfinal game for the first time in 10 years. It may have taken them 10 years to get downstate, but it only took them 32 minutes on the court of Peoria’s Carver Center Arena before they had to return home.

They played Stevenson from Lincolnshire Friday afternoon, March 16, and were outscored 21-0 in the third quarter. They eventually lost the game 57-41. Boylan finished their season with an outstanding record of 28-4. Chicago Simeon beat O’Fallon in the championship game for back-to-back state titles.

Four teams from our area made it to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament: Marquette University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin and Southern Illinois University. After the first two rounds of the tournament, only one area team made the Sweet 16—the Salukis from SIU.

Marquette and Illinois both lost in the first round. Wisconsin was the No. 2 seed in the Midwest bracket, and won its opening-round game against Texas A&M CC, but came up short against the No. 7 seed, UNLV, in the second round, 74-68.

The Salukis were seeded fourth in the Midwest bracket. They will take their 29-6 record against the No. 1 seed in that bracket, the 32-4 Kansas Jayhawks, in their game tomorrow (Thursday, March 22) at 7:10 p.m. That game will air locally on CBS.

All four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16. The lowest-seeded team to make it in the group of 16 is the team that upset the Badgers, the No. 7 seed UNLV. A self-proclaimed college basketball expert and a good friend of mine, Joe Quintanilla,, assured me Butler was going to win it all. They’ll have to upset the No. 1 seed in their bracket and last year’s champion, the Florida Gators, to do it. Those two teams will face one another this Friday, March 23.

We’ll see if Joe’s team is still alive after this weekend.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the March 21-28, 2007, issue

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