I know some of you still like to see these predictions, so I’ll keep it going for another year, at least.
Just in case you haven’t seen copies of the bracket, I’ll post them right now before I get to my predictions. As always, tonight’s games features the 1-8 and 4-5 teams.
Anyhow, we’ve got 22 basketball games on tap in Glasgow this week. Let’s get to the first four, shall we?
No. 8 Fayette (G) vs. No. 1 Cairo (4:30 p.m. tip-off): I hasn’t been an easy schedule for Fayette and first-year head coach Morgan Matthews to start the 2015-16 season. First the Lady Falcons had to host 21-win Higbee, then they traveled the following day to face two-time conference champion New Franklin. Now, in just its third game of the season, Fayette will face a Cairo team that went to the Show-Me Showdown in March, and they’re even better now than they were then. Last year, Cairo won this meeting by 48 points. We’ll see if Fayette can keep it closer this year. Prediction: Cairo 62, Fayette 24.
No. 8 Slater (B) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (6 p.m. tip-off): Talk about a warm welcome to the Central Activities Conference for Slater. Glasgow went on the road to beat Slater last week 69-27. Now the two teams meet again, six days later, on Glasgow’s home floor. I’ll be really interested to see this Glasgow team this week. They’re my pick to win this tournament, and after watching them in practice a few weeks ago, I think they could be the real deal this year in Class 1. Prediction: Glasgow 72, Slater 30.
No. 5 New Franklin (G) vs. No. 4 Westran (7:30 p.m. tip-off): These last two games are going to be some really good battles. I was impressed with the way New Franklin played in its opener last week against Fayette and Molly Lyons seems to be following in her sister’s footsteps this season. This will be Westran’s first game, so it will be really interesting to see how the Lady Hornets come out and play today. New Franklin almost always ends up in the championship bracket side of this tournament. I don’t think the Lady Bulldogs will have to worry about playing for a consolation trophy this year. Prediction: New Franklin 47, Westran 44.
No. 5 Cairo (B) vs. No. 4 New Franklin (9 p.m. tip-off): In my mind, this is the best matchup of the first round. Cairo will have the height this season, while New Franklin has the guard play. It should make for an interesting clash of strengths. New Franklin blew a 20-point lead against Fayette last week, and the Falcons caught a hot streak in that game with 27 points in the fourth quarter. I imagine that’s not the New Franklin team we’re going to see tonight. You can bet Jim Schlotzhauer will have his team ready for Cairo. Prediction: New Franklin 63, Cairo 54.