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Previewing Tuesday's games at the Nebraska boys state basketball tournament
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BASKETBALL

Previewing Tuesday's games at the Nebraska boys state basketball tournament

Jake Anderson and Stu Pospisil preview the top storylines for the Nebraska high school boys state basketball tournament, including the top first-round matchups in Class A and B, which teams could prevent a Bellevue West-Millard North state title game, why Class B could be a low-scoring bracket, which teams could pull off an upset and more.​

The Nebraska high school boys state basketball tournament begins Tuesday. Here's a preview of all six games:

Note: Rankings are according to The World-Herald's class ratings

CLASS B

No. 2-ranked Norris (18-2) vs. No. 9 Blair (11-11), 9 a.m.: Blair went west to defeat Alliance 51-43 for the Bears’ first district title since 2006. They lost to Norris 64-50 in an Eastern Midlands Conference game on Dec. 12. A mostly-junior top seven is paced by Luke Ladwig at 10.5 ppg. Norris, with losses only to Waverly and Omaha Skutt, goes 6-foot-6, 6-5, 6-5 across the front with Trey Deveaux (17.4 ppg., 8.5 rpg.), Brayson Mueller (12.6 ppg.) and C.J. Hood (10.4). Scoring averages: Norris 62.5 for, 46.1 against; Blair 46.3-48.5. Stu’s pick: Norris. Radio: 97.3, Blair; 101.5, 1480, Lincoln; 99.5, Fairbury.

No. 4 Platteview (20-4) vs. No. 5 Elkhorn (17-7), 11:15 a.m.: These teams complete the day’s Class B doubleheader. Platteview lost to Elkhorn 57-55 in December and beat the Antlers 59-54 at the Beatrice holiday tournament. Platteview’s Connor Millikan leads Class B at 26.7 ppg. and his 641 points have gotten him past the 1,000-point threshold — only the fourth all-time to do so as a sophomore. Senior wing Tyler Riley averages 16.5 ppg. Elkhorn enjoys a height advantage with Colton Uhing, a 6-6 guard who leads the team at 12.8 ppg. Scoring averages: Platteview 64.6-53.5; Elkhorn 51.2-42.3. Stu’s pick: Elkhorn, for having the experience of playing at state in Class A last year. Radio: none.

CLASS A

No. 3 Millard North (24-2) vs. No. 10 Millard South (11-11), 1:30 p.m.: The national No. 24 Mustangs beat Millard South 62-51 in January. Hunter Sallis is now No. 3 in Class A career scoring at 1,759 points. Saint Thomas gives Millard North a second 20-point scorer. Millard South is on a four-game winning streak with a team that scores by committee. Scoring averages: MN 81.5-59.9, MS 54.3-52.3. Stu’s pick: Millard North, unless it takes the game for granted. Radio: 94.5, 1420, Omaha.

No. 5 Lincoln Pius X (18-3) vs. No. 4 Millard West (17-5), 4 p.m.: West made it a sweep of state tournament berths for Millard schools with its 55-54 district final win at Omaha Westside. Evan Meyersick, 3-point shooter Ryan Larsen, James Conway and Dominic DeAngelo-Humm are double-digits scorers for the Wildcats. Pius X took the one Class A wild card berth after losing 56-51 in overtime to Lincoln East. NU coach Fred Hoiberg’s twins, seniors Sam (15.0 ppg.) and Charlie (10.7), are the Thunderbolts’ scoring leaders. Sam Hastreiter is a 6-6 junior with an Idaho offer. Scoring averages: LPX 66.4-48.1, MW 61.8-48.2. Stu’s pick: Pius X, on the expectation its shooting slump ends. Radio: 94.5, 1420, Omaha; 101.5, 1480, Lincoln.

No. 1 Bellevue West (23-2) vs. unranked Lincoln East (10-12), 6:15 p.m.: The defending champion beat East 84-54 on Feb. 6. That started a four-game losing streak for the Spartans, but they’re at state after beating Lincoln Southeast and Pius X in districts. Carter Glenn averages nearly 20 points and leads in assists. As he goes, so does East. West’s Frankie Fidler (UNO signee) is averaging 21.2 points and 6.4 rebounds and two-time All-Nebraska guard Chucky Hepburn (Wisconsin) has 208 assists (8.3 a game) and 95 steals to go with 15.7 points a game. Good passing team all around. Scoring averages: BW 79.0-57.7, LE 56.6-55.2. Stu’s pick: West. Radio: 94.5, 1420, Omaha; 103.3, 1240, Lincoln.

No. 2 Omaha Creighton Prep (22-2) vs. No. 6 Papillion-La Vista South (15-9), 8:30 p.m.: Prep defeated the Titans 68-54 on Jan. 26. Both teams are riding long win streaks, eight games for Prep and seven for South. The Titans secured their third consecutive state appearance with a 64-59 win at Omaha Central. Daniel Brocaille, a 6-5 junior guard, leads them in scoring and rebounding (17.7, 5.2). Prep scores by committee, with 6-8 junior forward Luke Jungers the top scorer at 12 a game. Point guard Justin Sitti has signed with Morningside. Scoring averages: CP 64.4-48.8, PS 63.9-55.9. Stu’s pick: Prep moves on to Round 3 against Bellevue West. Radio: 94.5, 1420, 102.7, Omaha.