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When: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Where: Oregon High School

Teams: No. 1 Winnebago (25-0), No. 2 Byron (11-13), No. 3 Oregon (13-13), No. 4 Pecatonica (11-13), No. 5 North Boone (4-18)

Players to watch: Caleb Mowry, Oregon sr. F; Dalton Payton, Byron sr. F; Andrew Squires, Pecatonica so. G; Tre Williams, North Boone jr. F

Outlook: Winnebago is clearly heads and shoulders above the rest of the field, although Oregon took the Indians to overtime in their first Big Northern West matchup. The Hawks have played better of late, including a win over Byron on Tuesday on a last-second tip-in. Byron's leading scorer, Payton, can create lots of matchup problems. Pec is playing well, having won six of nine.

Favorite: Winnebago

Dark horse: Oregon

Winner to: Byron Sectional vs. Westmont Regional winner, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27

SVM prediction: Winnebago


When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Where: Bureau Valley High School, Manlius

Teams: No. 1 Seneca (22-4), No. 2 St. Bede (21-5), No. 3 Bureau Valley (19-11), No. 4 Princeton (6-2), No. 5 Hall (9-16)

Players to watch: Joe Pyszka, St. Bede sr. C; Parker Neuhalfen, Bureau Valley so. G; Peyton Schrag, Seneca sr. G; Cole Evenson, Princeton sr. C

Outlook: While first-year BV coach Jason Marquis says Seneca and St. Bede are clear front-runners, it's hard to see Seneca – let along the other teams – containing the 6-foot-7 Pyszka and his six fellow seniors. BV would be particularly challenged, post Jordan Monier standing just 6-1. Neuhalfen has good size at the point at 6-2, and is a take-over type of talent. The Seneca Fighting Irish will be hard-pressed to build on an Interstate-8 title – and their first conference tourney title – and make their top seed stand up.

Favorite: Seneca

Dark horse: St. Bede

Winner to: Byron Sectional vs. West Carroll Regional winner, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27

SVM prediction: St. Bede


When: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Where: West Carroll High School, Savanna

Teams: No. 1 Newman (22-4), No. 2 Riverdale (14-13), No. 3 West Carroll (9-19), No. 4 Fulton (6-23), No. 5 Morrison (4-25)

Players to watch: Kyle Moore, Newman sr. F; A.J. Sharp, Newman jr. G; Jared Richmond, Riverdale sr. G; Tommy Losch, West Carroll sr. G; Nick Fish, Fulton sr. F; Alexander Volckmann, Morrison sr. G

Outlook: The Comets hung 80 points on the Rams last Saturday, and their ability to play both man and zone defense effectively will make them a tough solve for this field. West Carroll has shown glimpses this rebuilding season, but not enough to be a legitimate threat. Riverdale will go as far as Richmond will take them, but relying on a singular scoring threat plays into Newman's hands.

Favorite: Newman

Dark horse: Riverdale

Winner to: Byron Sectional vs. Bureau Valley Regional winner, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27

SVM prediction: Newman

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