What if we had the 12-team region tournament this season?

Now that we’re in the 12-or-so-hour period between the Region 7 boys basketball tournament and the District 13 and 14 girls basketball tournaments, I decided to take this very slim opportunity and break down what the brackets would likely look like had the region been set up in the 12-team tournament format that will happen in the 2013-14 season.

While some teams don’t play each other, I did a few tiebreakers on the boys side based on how they fared in district and region tournaments. For example, Hazen didn’t play New England, Heart River or Mott-Regent in the regular season. But, the Bison took third place in the Region 7 boys basketball tournament, so I put them as the No. 3 seed with the theory that they would have defeated those three District 13 teams in the regular season, even though that might not have happened.

The girls side was much easier, since most teams played each other at one point or another, with a handful of exceptions. Outside of Beach, Region 7 has been extremely balanced (not to mention mediocre) this entire season. So, there could very well have been some shakeups, but I did the best I could with the rankings.

Boys rankings
1) Trinity
2) Beulah
3) Hazen
4) Mott-Regent
5) New England
6) Heart River
7) Bowman County
8) Hettinger-Scranton
9) Beach
10) Killdeer
11) Richardton-Taylor
12) Glen Ullin-Hebron

Boys tournament
Play-in games
No. 5 New England defeats No. 12 Glen Ullin-Hebron — Easy pick, the Tigers ran into the Beulah steamroller in the Region 7 tournament
No. 6 Heart River defeats No. 11 Richardton-Taylor –Is there even an argument here?
No. 7 Bowman County vs. No. 10 Killdeer – This would have been a great game, in my opinion. But the way the Bulldogs were playing at the end of the year, they’d have been tough for Killdeer to beat.
No. 9 Beach defeats No. 8 Hettinger-Scranton – Beach looked great against Mott-Regent in the region-qualifier game. Backed against a wall, the Bucs defeat the Night Hawks.
Quarterfinals
No. 1 Trinity def. No. 9 Beach — Trinity’s too fast for the Bucs, who liked to slow things down and get the ball to Landon Lechler in the post.
No. 5 New England defeats No. 4 Mott-Regent — The Tigers lost to the Wildfire by two in the regular season in Mott. Put these rivals on a neutral court and the Tigers probably have the edge.
No. 3 Hazen defeats No. 6 Heart River — Hazen dropped 84 on the one of the best defensive teams in the region, but that was in the Region 7 tournament’s third-place game so it’s hard to judge how they’d both operate in a win-or-go-home game. I still think Hazen has the edge.
No. 2 Beulah defeats No. 7 Bowman County — Bowman pulled a fast one on Mott-Regent. There’s no way the Bulldogs do that to Beulah. It would probably have been a 30-point game the way the Miners were playing at the end of the season.
Semifinals
No. 1 Trinity defeats No. 5 New England — The Tigers had a lead and came within seconds of beating the Titans in the 2011 region semifinals AND this seasons Roughrider Tournament title game. But, on Trinity’s home court and in a regional atmosphere, the Titans hold the edge here.
No. 2 Beulah vs. No. 3 Hazen — We already saw this one play out on Tuesday. Miners win in a shootout.
Championship
No. 2 Beulah defeats No. 1 Trinity  – We wanted this to happen and we watched it go down. And it was pretty good. 

Girls rankings
1) Beach
2) Bowman County
3) Beulah
4) Trinity
5) Heart River
6) Richardton-Taylor
7) Hettinger-Scranton
8) Killdeer
9) Hazen
10) Hebron-Glen Ullin
11) New England
12) Mott-Regent

Play-in games
No. 5 Heart River defeats No. 12 Mott-Regent – The Cougars had a great start to the season but slowed down late. They will pick it up at tournament time.
No. 6 Richardton-Taylor defeats No. 11 New England – The Olson twins and Steiner are too big and strong for the young Tigers.
No. 7 Hettinger-Scranton defeats No. 10 Hebron-Glen Ullin – Now this would be an interesting game. Hebron-Glen Ullin won this matchup in the regular season on the road. But, at tournament time, I think the deeper Night Hawks win.
No. 9 Hazen defeats No. 8 Killdeer – Killdeer has been erractic as heck this season. Then again, so has Hazen. It would be a good matchup, but I’m going with Hazen on the road for the minor upset.
Quarterfinals
No. 1 Beach defeats No. 9 Hazen – Beach gets going with a bang, beating the balanced Bison.
No. 4 Trinity defeats No. 5 Heart River – Heart River is solid as heck but gets a terrible draw here in the quarterfinals against Trinity on its home floor. The Cougars had the Titans in their grasps and lost in a low-scoring regular-season game. Nikki Grinsteinner gets Trinity to the semifinals.
No. 3 Beulah defeats No. 6 Richardton-Taylor – Beulah is getting better and healthier. While the Miners dropped a 20-point defeat on the Raiders in the regular season, I believe it’d be closer than that in a tournament on a neutral floor.
No. 2 Bowman County defeats No. 7 Hettinger-Scranton – In a matchup between two teams who thrive on balance, Hettinger-Scranton shocks the Bulldogs. There always has to be one team that bites it because of the bye. That could very well be the Bulldogs in this scenario.
Semifinals
No. 1 Beach defeats No. 4 Trinity – The Titans present the best matchup for the Buccaneers, but Beach is too tough for the up-and-down Titans.
No. 3 Beulah defeats No. 7 Hettinger-Scranton – The Night Hawks’ run comes to an end against the bigger, experienced and more talented Miners.
Championship
No. 1 Beach vs. No. 3 Beulah – The Miners are bigger, but barring some sort of catastrophe or complete breakdown, Beach is a lock to win Region 7.

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