Bentson: Sneak peeks for college hoops, high school wrestling

Bill Bentson
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

How about this?  Wind-chill in the morning is expected to be around 55 below zero.  Really!  Regular temperatures are going to be around -25, with winds in the 15 to 25 mph range.  Today we had winds gusting to 55 mph.  That’s faster than I drive my truck!  Not really, but close.

Monday night I was updating the Three Rivers Conference standings for both boys and girls and I ran across this boys basketball score: Moose Lake/Willow River 112 Floodwood 27. Really? You must hate your opponent to do that to them. Somebody, please tell me they had the score wrong. That is flat-out ridiculous.

College basketball. How about a sneak peek at some college hoops?

The NCAA came out with their pre-tournament brackets. I didn’t see a full 68-team bracket for the men, but I did for the women. Here’s a look at the top four in each region.

Men’s, as of Feb. 8. Overall ranking in parenthesis. South Region at Houston: Baylor (1), Louisville (7), Seton Hall (11), and Auburn (13). Midwest Region at Indianapolis: Kansas (2), Dayton (6), Florida State (10) and Michigan State (16). West in Los Angeles: Gonzaga (3), West Virginia (8), Villanova (12) and Oregon (14). East in New York City: San Diego State (4), Duke (5), Maryland (9) and Butler (15). I think the guys on the program talked about the rest of the field, but I didn’t see it printed anyplace.

In the NET rankings, which seems to have replaced the RPI (power rankings), San Diego State is first, Gonzaga is second, Baylor third and Kansas is fourth.  If the NET holds on, there would be 12 Big 10 teams ranked in the top 68, which is the number of teams in the NCAA field. Minnesota is included in the top 68, ranked at No. 40. The other Big 10 teams and their (rank): Maryland (8), Michigan State (11), Penn State (19), Ohio State (21), Purdue (26), Iowa (28), Rutgers (31), Michigan (32), Wisconsin (33, aka Minnesota East), Illinois (34), Minnesota (40) and Indiana (61). Northwestern and Nebraska are the only Big 10 teams not ranked in the top 68. UNI (University of Northern Iowa) is at 37, Iowa State is 69th, South Dakota State is at 125, North Dakota State is 132nd, U of South Dakota is at 171, and the University of North Dakota is 246th. I’m pretty sure things will change by the time the final ranking comes out on March 15, but sure is interesting. There were 353 teams ranked.

Baylor is the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press poll, and I think about the sixth different No. 1 this season so far.

And how about that Duke/North Carolina match-up the other night.  The broadcasters really had a lot of good things to say about Tre Jones. One of them is quoted as saying, “He’s a winner, just a winner.” In Tre’s interview after the game, he gave all the credit to his “big bro, Tyus.” 

You probably knew that going into the game, in the last 100 meetings, the two teams are 50-50, and both teams had scored the exact same number of points, 7,746.  Isn’t that incredible?

Women’s. Top four in each region. I didn’t see their overall ranking. Greenville, South Carolina, region: South Carolina, North Carolina State, UCLA and Iowa. Dallas, Texas, Region: Baylor, Stanford, Gonzaga and Arizona. Portland, Oregon, Region: Oregon, Maryland, Mississippi State and DePaul.  Fort Wayne, Indiana, Region: Louisville, UConn, Oregon State and Northwestern.

The University of South Dakota got the early nod at No. 8 in the Greenville region. Here’s a couple other teams that got some early recognition.  Do you recognize these teams?: Campbell, Old Dominion, Troy, Belmont, IUPUI, Rider, Stony Brook and Robert Morris. Let me know how many of those you know about. 

I didn’t see the Lady Gophers anyplace in the 64 teams listed, but Lindsay Whalen’s got them playing some pretty good basketball right now. If they do well in the Big Ten tournament, we could see them in the NCAA. Go Gophers!

I printed off the RPI rankings for the gals. There are 351 teams listed. If that has anything to do with anything, Minnesota is ranked at #52. That would help, and then a good showing at the Big 10 tournament. There are nine (of the 14) Big 10 teams listed in the top 64: Maryland (3), Iowa (6), Indiana (15), Northwestern (16), Ohio State (26), Michigan (37), Purdue (40), Rutgers (48) and Minnesota (52). South Dakota State is #64. 

Paige Bueckers, Hopkins senior, will be playing for UConn next year.

Mr. basketball top 10 candidates. The Mr. Basketball committee has cut the candidates list down to 10. Southeast Minnesota has three on the final 10 list: Nate Heise (Lake City), Noah King (Caledonia) and Gabe Madsen (Rochester Mayo). The other seven are Ben Carlson (East Ridge), Steven Crowl (Eastview), Dain Dainja (Park Center), Drake Dobbs (Eden Prairie), Jalen Suggs (Minnehaha Academy) and Kerwin Walton (Hopkins). I’d like to see one of the AA players win it, but I’m going big school and the top team in AAAA, Dobbs (Eden Prairie).

The Miss Basketball list is at 40. Four Class A players: Shaily and Taya Hakamaki, Cromwell-Wright; Karley Motschenbacher, Park Christian, Moorhead; and Kirstin Robbins, Heritage Christian. Six AA players: Alyssa Ustby, Lourdes; Paige Thompson, Hawley; Tori Peschel, Sauk Centre; Grace Kirk, Duluth Marshall; Halle Jensen, Eden Valley-Watkins; Ava Hill, Mesabi East; and Gus Boyer, Waseca. And 29 AAA/AAAA players. I’m picking Buecker, Hopkins!


The section team tournaments were held this past weekend.  Section 1 has the best run tournament in the state. So good, that the AAA schools wanted to take part and join the A/AA schools a couple years ago. The state tournament has modeled itself after our A and AA tournament.

GMLOS got the No. 1 seed, followed by Zumbrota-Mazeppa (No. 2, 13-5), Dover-Eyota (No. 3, 16-2), Chatfield (No. 4, 13-3), Caledonia/Houston (No. 5, 12-8), Goodhue (No. 6, 13-9), FCLMC (No. 7, 12-10), Wabasha-Kellogg (No. 8, 4-7), Triton (No. 9, 14-15) and St. Charles (No. 10, 1-16).

I’m going with Joe Cullen (FCLMC) as Section Coach of the Year! I did an article for FCLMC this past week, and Mr. Cullen gave a lot of credit to his seniors. I do too, but the success starts at the top, and Joe’s been there for those kids, through the “lean and mean” years. GREAT JOB, Coach!

Simley got the No. 1 seed in the AA tournament; Kasson-Mantorville is No. 2, No. 3 went to Lake City, Plainview-Elgin-Millville is No. 4, Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson is at No. 5, Byron is No. 6, Cannon Falls is No. 7, Stewartville No. 8, St. Thomas Academy No. 9, Pine Island No. 10 and La Crescent-Hokah is No.11.

You have the pairings, right: 1 vs. 8/9, 4 vs. 5, 2 vs. 7/10 and 3 vs. 6/11. Pig-tail and quarterfinals were wrestled on Thursday, with semis and finals on Saturday.

The section Individual tournament is coming up on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22.  The state meet is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 27 to 29.

I’m sure everybody thought I was a duck out of water, but I loved doing the results, etc., on the radio. Oh, the good old days! KFIL was a pioneer in the “wrestling business” and in bringing track to southeast Minnesota.

We have several wrestlers ranked; that will be show-cased in a week. Class A. 106 lbs.: Anthony Romero (No. 3, GMLOS), Brodie Kellen (No. 6, DE).  113 lbs.; Cael Bartels (No. 3, Chatfield).  126 lbs.: Tucker Ginther (No. 9, Caledonia/Houston). 132 lbs.: Gavin Gust (No. 6, DE). 138 lbs.; Taylor DeFrang (No. 4, DE), Nolan Rommel (No. 6, WK). 145 lbs.: Seth Goetzinger (No. 5, Chatfield). 152 lbs.: Christian Jacobsen (No. 7, GMLOS). 160 lbs.: Daniel Smith (No. 6, GMLOS). 170 lbs.: Noah Sayles (No. 7, GMLOS). 182 lbs.: Gavin Dabelstein (No. 10, DE). 220 lbs.: AJ Karver (No. 8, Chatfield). 285 lbs.: Alec Francis (No. 9, Caledonia/Houston). Class AA. 126 lbs.: Ross Herber (No. 4, LARP). 138 lbs.: Gable Speltz (No. 10, LARP). 145 lbs.: (Cael Marx (No. 10, PEM). 152 lbs.: Joe Stucky (No. 6, PEM). 285 lbs.: Logan Wingert (No. 2, PEM).

Good luck, guys. Our AA guys have super competition, as they will probably face wrestlers from Simley and Kasson-Mantorville, No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the section, AND the state! Not saying our Class A guys have a cake-walk, as they have to go against wrestlers from the north (Goodhue, Z-M, PI, etc.).

I’m going to include the basketball standings, but don’t know how much of them will make it.  Have a great week, one day at a time.  Hey to the Great 8, my Fab 4, my lovely wife Carol and Dave; you guys are the greatest.  I hope the Silver Grille crew is jealous. Shake a 20-center for me guys!  Hasta luego, my friends.  See you next week.

2019-20 Southeast Conference BBB standings

through Tuesday, Feb, 11

East division

*Schaeffer Acad     11-2         18-4

Houston                        9-4       14-11

Spring Grove               9-5       13-10

Lanesboro                 4-10       10-13

Mabel-Canton           1-13         3-20

West division

*Randolph                  12-2         17-6

Grand Meadow         10-4         16-7

Lyle/Pacelli               10-4         16-6

LeRoy-Ostrander      6-8       10-14

Kingsland                   4-10         6-18

Glenville-Emmons  0-14         3-19

*division champion

2019-20 Three Rivers Conference BBB standings and schedule

through Tuesday, Feb. 11

East division (16 games)

                          TRC    reg. s    vs West

Caledonia          13-0     20-1       6-0

LaC-Hokah       11-2     15-5       6-0

L-A                         9-4     18-4       5-1

R-P                         4-9  11-11       1-5

Fillmore C          2-11     4-19       0-6

Cotter                 0-13     1-21       0-6


West division (16 games) 

                                                    vs East

St. Ch                 10-3     15-7       4-2

PEM                       9-4     16-6       3-3

D-E                         8-5  12-11       3-3

Chatfield              5-8     7-14       3-3

Southland            4-9     8-12       2-4

W-K                     3-10  10-13       3-3


2019-20 Southeast Conference GBB standing

through Tuesday, Feb. 11,

East division             SEC    reg. s

*Houston                    11-1       19-6

Mabel-Canton             7-6    10-15

Lanesboro                    5-7       9-16

Schaeffer Ac               3-9       7-18

Spring Grove               3-9       5-19

West division

*Kingsland                 12-0       16-9

Grand Meadow         10-2       16-8

Randolph                      7-6    11-14

Lyle/Pacelli                  3-9       5-19

LeRoy-Ost                 0-12      0-24

*division champion         

2019-20 Three Rivers Conference GBB standings

through Tuesday, Feb. 11

East division (15 games)

                                                        vs W

*Cotter               11-1     21-3       4-1

Fillmore C             9-5     17-8       2-3

LaC-Hokah          5-9  11-14       1-4

L-A                         5-9     8-17       1-4

Caledonia          4-10     6-18       1-4

R-P                      0-14     3-21       0-5

*division champion                                   9-21

West division (14 games)

                                                         vs E

*D-E                    12-1     17-7       5-1

PEM                    10-3     14-9       6-0

Southland            7-7  11-11       3-3

St. Charles          6-7  11-12       4-2

Chatfield              4-9     9-16       3-3

*division champion                                  21-9