Recapping the opening round

Friday night marked the opening round for the Class AA state playoffs, and the win-or-go-home scenario went into full effect.

Already, a No. 1 seed has been eliminated: Darlington of Region 7. The Tigers finished the regular season 10-0, good for the state's No. 4 ranking. But they were no match for the Pace Academy Knights, a No. 4 seed out of Region 6. The Knights were ranked No. 9 heading into the postseason. They played in arguably the deepest region in AA, so the fact that they won probably shouldn't be considered much of an upset. However, the 31-0 score is a shocker.

In fact, Region 6 dominated Region 7 in the opening round, winning all four games by a combined score of 137-63. In addition to Pace's win, GAC beat Dade County, Lovett beat Chattooga and Wesleyan beat Model.

And kudos to the Wolves for backing up their coach's bold prediction of an opening-round victory. Following a tough loss to GAC in the season finale - a game that decided the region champion - Wesleyan fell into a three-way tie with Pace and Lovett that had to be broken via coin flip the following morning. It was unclear who the Wolves would play following the GAC loss, but Wolves coach Franklin Pridgett didn't think the opponent mattered.

"I don't care – whoever it is, we're going to win," Wolves coach Franklin Pridgen said when asked about the coin flip determining his team's opponent in the playoffs.

He was right.

The wins by Pace and Wesleyan put a few dents in my bracket, which was posted here earlier in the week. The only other game I incorrectly predicted was Bowdon at Union County - a game Bowdon won 56-55 in overtime. Of the three teams I picked to win that lost, Darlington was the only team I had advancing past the second round. So my predictions remain intact for the most part.

Below is a look at my predictions. Teams in red have been eliminated.

For tournament scores, click here.

For the Round 1 Maxwell Projections, click here.

ajc.com

Credit: Adam Krohn