Is the Class 1A playoffs actually the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference Invitational?
The entire north side of the bracket is made up teams from that small school conference powerhouse, insuring the league will have a representative in the state finals in Champaign.
The other side of the bracket isn’t exactly made up of slouches either with traditional powers Camp Point Central and Tuscola still in the mix as well as a recently developing powerhouse from Ridgeview aiming to earn its spot opposite whomever emerges from the NUIC tournament on the other side.
First-round predictions: 13-3
Second-round predictions: 5-3
Lena-Winslow vs. Fulton: Lena-Winslow has been an absolute terror through the first two rounds of the postseason, rolling over its two foes by a 124-13 margin. They are now locking horns again with the one team they played this season, Fulton, that at least had a bit of success offensively against them as the 32 points it scored against Lena accounted for over 25 percent of the points Lena-Winslow has allowed all season.
Forreston vs. Dakota: Forreston is literally the only team that has given Lena-Winslow even an ounce of trouble over the past few years (they are the last team to defeat them in Week 9 of the 2021 season), but in order to get another crack at them they’ll have to defeat a Dakota team that upended them 34-28 in a Week 4 matchup of the two teams.
Ridgeview vs. Tuscola: Ridgeview only seems to be cranking up its level of play in the postseason having posted 100-plus points in its first two playoff games. It hasn’t been as easy for Tuscola, whose two postseason wins have come by a combined five points. That difference in ease of victory to this point might not play a big part in the outcome of this contest though as Tuscola has a long history of coming up big in postseason games.
Camp Point Central vs. Greenfield: Both of these two teams are members of the Western Illinois Valley Conference but don’t play in the same division. They also didn’t lock horns in a crossover game either. They do have plenty of comparable opponents though, including Jacksonville Routt, who accounts for Greenfield’s lone loss this season. Camp Point Central downed Routt 28-0 in their matchup.
Pick: Camp Point Central
Source: The Daily Chronicle