High School Basketball

Boys' bracket bottom-loaded

If Holmes and Scott County make it to the boys' state basketball tournament next month, they could meet in a power-packed second-round showdown in Rupp Arena.

That's one of the possible scenarios after pairings were drawn Friday for the National City Boys' Sweet Sixteen.

There's still a lot of basketball to be played between now and when the tournament tips off March 18, and nobody is assured of a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.

But if the favorites make it to Rupp Arena, the lower half of the bracket looks considerably stronger than the upper half.

The 7th Region, home to top-10 teams Eastern, Ballard and Jeffersontown, appears to have gotten a good draw. It would probably be a solid favorite to make it through the upper bracket and into the finals.

The lower bracket could hold much more drama.

The 11th Region, which includes No. 1 Scott County, is matched against the 4th Region in the first round. That could be a stern test if No. 10 Warren Central wins the 4th.

The 9th Region, where No. 3 Holmes is a heavy favorite, would face the 2nd Region.

If Elliott County, which shares the No. 1 rating with Scott County, wins the 16th Region for the third year in a row, it would face the 8th Region in the opening round.

One of the best first-round games might be the 10th Region versus the 15th. That could be a matchup of defending state champ and 10th-ranked Mason County or 14th-ranked Clark County against No. 7 Shelby Valley.