I'll post my reflections on the Twin Cities game shortly, but before I do that, I will offer my thoughts on section seeding involving teams I've televised this season in tandem with the St. Paul City Conference.
We'll start with section four in class AA. Jordan and Roosevelt are the two #1 seeds in their subsections and it's hard to fathom that either will face any difficulty until they play each other again. Jordan crushed Roosevelt in their first meeting, but Roosevelt may pull off an upset if they can work together as a group. Shakila Boler has had more time to catch up with her teammates. Roosevelt had no trouble beating other high seeds in their section, knocking off Humboldt and St. Croix Lutheran despite not being at full strength. Humboldt may get to the subsection final, but it will likely be Jordan and Roosevelt in the final. Jordan's two losses this season were against teams they will not face in post-season play and are the favorites to win class AA. My pick: Jordan.
On to section four in class AAA. Hill-Murray and Minnehaha Academy are the top seeds. Unfortunately, we couldn't televise their regular season game as Hill-Murray went through some problems with their boys hockey team posting pictures of themselves violating league rules on Facebook. However, the bulk of the St. Paul City Conference is in this section. St. Paul is still very weak; Central had no problem winning another conference title this season. Highland Park would be a threat if they could beat teams better than they are, but they've failed to do that in the last two seasons and suffered an upset loss to Mahtomedi. Hill-Murray and Minnehaha will play each other again, but it's a toss-up regarding who will make it to state.
Chaska leads the group in section two in class AAAA. Eden Prairie is second. EP beat Central twice this season, but lost to the Lake Conference winner in both regular season games. However, we've all heard the old adage about beating a team three times. Richfield may have something to say about that as Classic Suburban champs winning 22 of their last 23 games. Kennedy beat Chaska in January as well and lost by just three in the second meeting. Prior Lake doesn't have enough to hold up as the game they played against Chaska will show you. Any one of the top four seeds has a chance to qualify for state. My pick: Chaska by a slight edge as they've come out on top more often than not in the tough Lake Conference.
Which brings us to section three in class AAAA. Lakeville North is number one and split their season series with Chaska, falling one game shy of the Lake title. Park of Cottage Grove fell hard with the loss of Voigt to graduation and Fisher to an ACL injury. They'll look to rebuild for next season. Lakeville North beat Eastview twice, the first by one and the second time by 14. Eastview can't be counted out, but Lakeville North brings in depth and talent. Don't let the 19-7 record fool you. My pick: Lakeville North.
Section four in class AAAA features Central and Cretin-Derham Hall. We didn't televise Woodbury this season, although they came back in a big way with the return of Sarah Hintz this season. Woodbury lost twice this season to Minnesota teams (the third was against a Wisconsin team) and while their deliberate style can be beaten, it won't be easy. Woodbury gets in trouble if their opponent reaches the 60s. White Bear Lake was close both times against Woodbury, but will have to play through Central first. Cretin's not going anywhere. St. Paul Central exceeded coach Willie Taylor's expectations; he told me they would be 18-8 coming into sections. At 20-6, they're unpredictable. They haven't faired well against other class AAAA teams this season, but did beat Osseo. They get a lot of box-and-ones, but don't have the same depth they did over the last two seasons or the same level of talent. My pick: Woodbury.
Speaking of Osseo, the Orioles and Centennial both play in section five in class AAAA. Centennial is #1 and Osseo is #2. The two split their season series, although Nipe didn't play the first time. The Cougars won by 15 in the second meeting when she returned. Nipe, however, isn't the same player we've seen in previous years; Bridget Schuneman leads the team in scoring this year. That doesn't make Centennial a slouch though. Osseo upset Centennial last year and lost close games with other top AAAA teams this season despite a new coach (Joey Waters, who was an assistant at Central last year). They could pull it off once again. My pick: Centennial, hopefully it won't be the kiss of death.
Finally, the big one: section six in class AAAA. Hopkins and South have identical records, so don't let their seedings fool you. South's loss to Hopkins came when they weren't at full strength and my colleague at Community Hoops says Armstrong caught Hopkins on a bad day to upset them. Hopkins barely escaped over Wayzata in their second meeting. Hopkins looks strong, but they're not invincible. South can't do much about their conference, but they've figured out how to beat the box-and-one as they're loaded with shooters. South's two losses came when Tayler Hill was the only player to break double digits, so taking out her support options will be the key to success. South hasn't lost since their upset loss to Maple Grove, however. Armstrong may have something to say too after their loss to South in the regular season. Minnetonka has come up with some big wins as well despite going 12-14. Call me a pack follower, but I believe whoever comes out on top in this section will win the state title in class AAAA. South will have to get through Armstrong and Hopkins to get in, but they're used to this kind of pressure. My pick: Minneapolis South
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15