The KHSAA revealed the pairings for the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen and the St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen tournaments during a live draw show on WKYT-CW.
For the third year in a row, the 11th Region boys’ winner will be pitted against the 12th Region boys’ winner in the first round of the tournament. Lexington Catholic played Boyle County in 2015 while Paul Laurence Dunbar met Mercer County in last season’s tournament. Based on the current Cantrall Ratings, this year’s 11/12 first-round game would be Scott County (No. 2 overall in the rankings) versus Southwestern (No. 11 in the rankings).
The 11/12 game is the top game of the upper bracket. The remaining pairings in descending order are: 4th Region vs. 1st Region; 10th Region vs. 13th Region; 15th Region vs. 14th Region; 16th Region vs. 8th Region; 9th Region vs. 3rd Region; 7th Region vs. 5th Region; 6th Region vs. 2nd Region.
Based on the current Cantrall Ratings, the state final four would be Bowling Green vs. Campbell County and Covington Catholic vs. Fern Creek. Fern Creek, rated No. 1 in the state, would defeat No. 5 Bowling Green in the state finals.
The top half of the girls’ bracket will likely be top-heavy; based on the current Cantrall Ratings, seven of the state’s top 20 teams and six of the top 10 would be in that portion of the bracket. No. 1 Butler (6th Region) would likely play No. 4 Male (7th Region) in the first round; the teams have split two head-to-head meetings this season.
The potential rubber match between Butler and Male is the top game of the upper bracket. The remaining pairings in descending order are: 1st Region vs. 5th Region; 10th Region vs. 13th Region; 16th Region vs. 12th Region; 4th Region vs. 11th Region; 8th Region vs. 15th Region; 9th Region vs. 3rd Region; 2nd Region vs. 14th Region.
Based on the current Cantrall Ratings, the state final four would be Butler vs. Mercer County and Simon Kenton vs. Holmes. Butler would defeat No. 5 Simon Kenton in the state finals.
Times for both tournaments were expected to be announced by the KHSAA later Wednesday. The 100th boys’ Sweet Sixteen will be held from March 15-19. The girls’ Sweet Sixteen will be held the week before from March 8-13.