With both Murphysboro and Rockford sporting unblemished records heading into Friday's Class 2A Illinois boys basketball semifinals, a battle of undefeated teams for the state championship appears on tap for Saturday in Peoria.
Not so fast, however. Despite a lesser overall record, Hales Franciscan of Chicago is favored to take the title this weekend entering the tournament as the seventh-ranked team in Illinois and on the periphery of the top-100 nationally, per MaxPreps.
Led by Division I bound brothers Aaron Armstead (Wisconsin-Green Bay recruit) and Aaric Armstead (a junior fielding D1 offers), Hales-Franciscan has four losses to team's in the Chicagoland top 20.
In the final four of 1A, Illinois' smallest class, Newark, making its first final four appearance, is favored behind Delaware recruit Kyle Anderson, who led the team with 17 points in the Dekalb Super-Sectional Game.
Entering the final four, Newark is the only Class 1A team ranked in the state's top 100.
Illinois At A Glance - All Times CST
Friday, March 11
12:15 p.m. - West Central vs. Woodlawn
2 p.m. - Newark vs. Deer Creek-Makinaw
6:30 p.m. - Rockford Christian vs. Hales Franciscan
8:15 p.m. - Murphysboro vs. Pittsfield
Saturday, March 12
12:15 p.m - Third-place game
2 p.m. - Championship
6:30 p.m. - Third-place game
8:15 p.m. - Championship