Quarterfinals glance; predictions review

The quarterfinals for the AA playoffs tip off on Tuesday, with both boys and girls winners advancing to the Final Four on March 4 at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. Below are the quarterfinals matchups, along with a review of the playoff predictions made before the tournament started.

(For a rundown of Round 2, go here.)

Boys

No. 1 South Atlanta vs. Washington County
When/where: Wednesday, 6 p.m. at Washington County
Records/playoff seeds: South Atlanta (26-1; No. 1 seed, Region 6), Washington County (15-9; No. 1 seed, Region 3)
Last meeting: South Atlanta won 65-54 in the second round of the 2010 Class AAA playoffs.

No. 2 Laney vs. No. 5 Dublin
When/where: Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Laney
Records/playoff seeds: Laney (25-5; No. 1, Region 4), Dublin (25-5, No. 2, Region 3)
Last meeting: Laney won 74-43 on Feb. 8, 2014.

No. 4 Early County vs. No. 10 Josey
When/where: Thursday, 4 p.m. at Early County
Records/playoff seeds: Early County (23-7; No. 1, Region 1), Josey (22-7; No. 3, Region 4)
Last meeting: Early County won 65-59 in the first round of the 2014 Class AA playoffs.

No. 8 Chattooga vs. Swainsboro
When/where: Thursday, 6 p.m. at Swainsboro
Records/playoff seeds: Chattooga (26-1; No. 1, Region 7; Swainsboro (No. 1, Region 2)
Last meeting: None on record dating back to the 2005-06 season.

Girls

No. 1 Laney vs. No. 10 Heard County
When/where: Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Heard County
Records/playoff seeds: Laney (28-1; No. 1, Region 4), Heard County (22-6, No. 1, Region 5)
Last meeting: None of record dating back to the 2006-07 season.

No. 2 Model vs. No. 6 Bryan County
When/where: Tuesday, 5 p.m. at Model
Records/playoff seeds: Model (24-5; No. 1, Region 7), Bryan County (24-4; No. 1, Region 2)
Last meeting: None of record dating back to the 2006-07 season.

No. 4 Fitzgerald vs. No. 5 Rabun County
When/where: Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Rabun County
Records/playoff seeds: Fitzgerald (22-2; No. 1, Region 1), Rabun County (27-2, No. 1, Region 8)
Last meeting: None of record dating back to the 2006-07 season.

No. 9 Hapeville Charter vs. Bleckley County
When/where: Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Banneker*
Records/playoff seeds: Hapeville Charter (21-6; No. 1, Region 6), Bleckley County (19-11, No. 1, Region 3)
Last meeting: None of record dating back to Hapeville Charter’s inaugural season in 2011-12.

*Neutral site

Predictions review

Boys:

round-3-2016-17-aa-boys-hoops-tourney

Notes:

  • It’s official: No. 8 Chattooga is for real. The Indians have flown under the radar all season despite losing just once. They didn’t crack the top 10 until the final weeks of the season and had yet to play a ranked team heading into their matchup with No. 6 Thomasville. They didn’t just beat Thomasville, which was led by nationally-recruited junior Reggie Perry, they won big, beating the Bulldogs 68-51. The Indians’ unexpected playoff run mirrors that of the football team’s, which also advanced to the quarterfinals and also featured Isaiah Foster as a key contributor. The Chattooga community has adopted the slogan “One Tribe,” during the postseason run.
  • Speaking of the Indians, they also contributed — along with Swainsboro — to the busting of the bottom-left of my bracket. I had Thomasville reaching the semifinals. All other semifinalists — South Atlanta, Laney, Early County — are still alive.

Girls:

round-3-2016-17-aa-girls-hoops-tourney

Notes:

  • The girls bracket has a little less red in it, with six of my eight picks advancing. I’d have a perfect Elite 8 had I just penciled in all the No. 1 seeds, but I thought Dade County, a No. 3 seed, could beat top-seeded Bleckley County and it almost did, missing a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to fall just short, 45-43. I also had No. 3-ranked Dodge County, a No. 2 seed, beating No. 10-ranked top seed Heard County, but Heard County squeaked out a 56-55 win. Turns out those games were too close to call.
  • Three of my four semifinalists — Laney, Model, and Rabun County — are still alive. I had Dade County advancing to the Final Four in the bottom-right side.
  • The possibility of a Laney sweep of the boys and girls championships is still alive.

Correction: A previously published version had the incorrect venue listed for the Josey-Early County game.

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