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134 schools move up a division in revised WIAA boys' basketball playoff structure

01/14/2021, 5:00pm CST
By Mark Miller

The bombshell announcement that appeared to many to come out of leftfield today regarding the WIAA playoffs next month moves 134 boys' basketball teams up an entire division.

Click here for a link to all of the updated tournament assignments.

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the reduced number of schools willing to host games, and 39 teams across the state opting out of the playoffs, the WIAA decided to split its five divisions equally with 89 schools in Division 1, 90 schools in Division 2, 90 schools in Division 3, 89 schools in Division 4 and 89 schools in Division 5.

The old format, which included the 39 schools that have since opted out, had 68 schools in Division 1, 89 in Division 2, 101 in Division 3, 101 in Division 4 and 128 in Division 5. 

The coaching staffs, players and fans for many of the state's better teams learned today they will be competing in a division one higher than originally thought.

Among the top 10 teams at the Division 5 level in the current WisSports.net Coaches Poll, eight have been moved up to Division 4.

Eleven other ranked teams -- two in Division 4, five in Division 3 and four in Division 2 -- also move up one division.

In an effort to reduce travel and thus cut down on the potential spread of COVID-19, all regionals will be split into five- or six-team pods with the higher seeded teams in each regional hosting games on Feb. 16, 19 and 20.

Following regional play, the four remaining teams in each division will be re-seeded with the higher seeded squad again hosting at the sectional level on February 25 and 27. 

The state tournament, which likely will be held at multiple sites due to COVID-19, is set for March 4-5-6.  

Thirty-nine schools opted out of competing in the WIAA playoffs due to COVID. They include:

Division 1 (9): Madison East, Madison La Follette, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Milwaukee Hamilton, Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Pulaski, Milwaukee Riverside and Milwaukee Reagan.

Division 2 (9): Milwaukee Madison, Milwaukee Vincent, Milwaukee Arts, Milwaukee Bradley Tech, Milwaukee Marshall, Milwaukee School of Languages, Milwaukee South, Milwaukee Washington, MIlwaukee Bay View. 

Division 3 (7): Carmen Northwest, Golda Meir, Messmer, Milwaukee North, Obama School of Career Tech, Tenor/Veritas, Saint Anthony.

Division 4 (4): Destiny, Milwaukee Juneau, Salam, Milwaukee Collegiate Academy. 

Division 5 (10): Eastbrook Academy/Chesterton Academy, Milwaukee Lifelong Learning, University Lake/Trinity Academy, Wayland Academy, Abundant Life/St. Ambrose, Madison Country Day, Community Christian of Baraboo, Young Coggs, Cornell, Phelps.

Here is a breakdown of teams moving up one division:

From Division 2 to Division 1 (30)
Sectional 1

Holmen, Hortonville, Green Bay Southwest, La Crosse Central, Menomonie, Pulaski, River Falls
Sectional 2
Beaver Dam, Cedarburg, Kaukauna, Nicolet, Slinger, West Bend East, West Bend West, West De Pere, 
Sectional 3
De Forest, Elkhorn, Fort Atkinson, Milton, Monona Grove, Oregon, Waukesha North, Waukesha West.
Sectional 4
Burlington, Greenfield, South Milwaukee, Union Grove, Waterford, Wauwatosa West, Westosha Central.

From Division 3 to Division 2 (40)
Sectional 1

Altoona, Amery, Baldwin-Woodville, Black River Falls, Ellsworth, Hayward, Osceola, Somerset, West Salem. 
Sectional 2
Berlin, Clintonville, Denmark, Freedom, Little Chute, Marinette, Ripon, Sheboygan Falls, Two Rivers, Winneconne, Xavier. 
Sectional 3
Adams-Friendship, Big Foot, Edgerton, Edgewood, Evansville, Lake Mills, Lodi, Mauston, Platteville, Turner, Waupun, Wisconsin Dells. 
Sectional 4
Brown Deer, Catholic Memorial, East Troy, Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Kewaskum, Martin Luther, Saint Francis, Saint Thomas More.

From Division 4 to Division 3 (36)
Sectional 1
Aquinas, Cameron, Chequamegon, Colby, Cumberland, Durand, Ladysmith, Mondovi, Neillsville, Osseo-Fairchild, Stratford, Unity. 
Sectional 2
Bonduel, Menominee Indian, Oconto, Saint Mary Catholic, Southern Door, Westfield, Weyauwega-Fremont. 
Sectional 3
Belleville, Cambridge, Darlington, Lancaster, Markesan, Marshall, New Glarus, Poynette.
Sectional 4
Cedar Grove, Howards Grove, Kenosha Christian Life, Kenosha St. Joseph, Milwaukee Academy of Science, Racine Lutheran, Random Lake, Saint Mary's Springs, Winnebago Lutheran. 

From Division 5 to Division 4 (28)
Sectional 1

Athens, Clear Lake, Flambeau, Hurley, Thorp, Washburn. 
Sectional 2
Gillett, Hilbert, Lourdes Academy, Oakfield, Reedsville, Sheboygan Lutheran, Wabeno/Laona. 
Sectional 3
Alma Center Lincoln, Bangor, Blair-Taylor, Eleva-Strum, Hillsboro, Kickapoo, New Lisbon, Pacelli, Pittsville, Rosholt, Tri-County, Wild Rose. 
Sectional 4
Iowa-Grant, Riverdale, Southwestern.

For the latest and most up to date boys' basketball news and recruiting information, follow Mark on Twitter @wisbbyearbook. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Mark by clicking here.

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