Round 2 of the Class AA tournament is complete and there were no major upsets on the girls’ or boys’ sides. That doesn’t mean my predictions brackets didn’t take a beating, however. While the girls’ side is mostly intact, the boys’ side is obliterated.
Looking ahead to the quarterfinals, teams that meet which are the same seed used the GHSA’s universal coin toss to determine home-court advantage.
But first, let’s take a look at what happened in the second round.
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There’s only one team I didn’t have in the quarterfinals that made it, and that Douglass, the top seed from Region 6. The Lady Astros, who were never ranked at any point in the season, beat Elbert County 47-36. Elbert County was in and out of the top 10, playing in a competitive Region 8, but entered the playoffs unranked as well. This doesn’t qualify as an upset, but the Lady Astros will now face No. 4 Josey. Lucky for the Lady Astros is the game will be played at Douglass, though Josey — which beat Metter 75-43 — will still be heavily favored.
In the top-left section, No. 6 Model blew past Callaway with a 71-25 win. They’re now on a 14-game win streak and will host No. 3 Dodge County in what should be one of the state’s best quarterfinals games. The Lady Indians beat Early County 73-65 to advance.
In the bottom-left, top-ranked Laney took care of business as expected, beating No. 5 Swainsboro 76-60. Despite now having the state’s best record at 29-0, they’ll be hitting the road to play No. 2 Banks County in the quarterfinals. The Lady Leopards looked impressive in their 70-28 thumping of KIPP. As stated before the playoffs, though Laney is the best team, it has the toughest road to the state title.
In the top-right, I haven’t missed on a single game. No. 10 Fitzgerald is playing like the team I picked to reach the semfinals and now it has a win over a top 10 team in the tournament to validate the prediction. The Lady Purple Hurricanes edge No. 9 Washington County 68-65 at home and will now host No. 8 Rabun County. The Lady Wildcats made easy work of Lamar County, winning 63-43.
This predictions bracket is all but dead. My biggest mistake was having one of the finalists come from the upper-left bracket. I only picked one game correctly, and that was No. 8 Washington County’s win over Butler. And that barely happened as the Golden Hawks won 80-74. They lost 52-46 to unranked Vidalia in the second round and they were the team I had reaching the finals. It’s rather impressive to miss on all but one game in a given section of the bracket and probably harder to do. But Vidalia is hot at the right time and will now play at Jordan. While the Indians advancing isn’t a shock, it’s a farely big surprise to see Jordan — with its 14-12 record — make it this far. The Red Jackets beat Monticello 71-67, and the Hurricanes entered the game with a 20-9 record. But regular season records dont’ matter in the playoffs, and now the Red Jackets get to host a quarterfinals game.
In the bottom-left, No. 6 South Atlanta is looking more and more like the team that will reach the finals. The Hornets beat No. 9 Banks County 72-60, though top-ranked Laney is still taking care of business with its 65-55 win over Metter. With the Hornets being the defending champs, the matchup with Laney — at Laney — will be the highest-anticipated quarterfinals matchup.
In the upper-right, I whiffed badly on Rockmart — Spencer won 72-39 — and was wrong again about No. 3 Thomasville, which beat No. 4 Dublin 72-60. I couldn’t get past how the Bulldogs lost so decisively a year ago to Chattooga in the second round, but it appears normalcy is restored, as they’re in the quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons. To reach the semifinals, however, they’ll have to beat Spencer on the road.
In the bottom-right, No. 8 Therrell — the team I have winning it all — barely survived Elbert County with a 67-63 win. My championship pick doesn’t look very safe against No. 2 Glenn Hills, which beat Jeff Davis 72-56. The Panthers do have one thing going for them, however: the game will be played at Therrell.
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