Here are the best bets for strong state quarterfinal matchups. All games are 7 pm Tuesday unless otherwise noted.
Detroit U-D Jesuit 25-0 vs Ypsilanti 22-1, 5 pm: Longtime AAU buddies Cassius Winston and Corey Allen meet now as Mr. Basketball from U-D Jesuit and a Mr. Basketball finalist from Ypsi. The second played at U-D also features high-end guard play when North Farmington (Billy Thomas, Amauri Hardy) faces Sterling Heights Stevenson (Luke Lamoreaux).
Hudsonville 19-6 vs Lansing Everett 15-5: Whoever said good players don’t make good coaches, never saw either Hudsonville’s Eric Elliott or Everett’s Desmond Ferguson play or coach at their alma maters. Hudsonville has been soooo close to a regional title under Elliott, giving championship teams like Kalamazoo Central and Muskegon scares before finally breaking through this year. Meanwhile few expected Everett to be this close again to making the Breslin after graduating Trevor Manuel. Yet here are the Vikings, defying their .500 regular season and confident after knocking out undefeated East Lansing.
St. Clair Shores Lake Shore
Detroit Henry Ford 17-6 vs New Haven 22-2: It was an up-and-down regular season but James Towns and company always had a shot at a return visit to the state final thanks to the Trojans’ PSL pedigree in what is an overall down division. Don’t include New Haven on the downbound train though. They’re the biggest team in the state with at least three D1 players.
River Rouge 22-3 vs Williamston 20-3: This will be the first sellout at Charlotte’s dome since they canned coach Steve Ernst. Guards are gold in March so it’s no surprise to see these teams here, as River Rouge has junior point guard Darian Owns-White and Williamston prolific senior scorer Riley Lewis.
Grandville Calvin Christian 19-4 vs Kalamazoo Hackett 24-0: This will be the toughest challenge to Hackett’s unbeaten campaign as no one has come within 15 this postseason, while Calvin was challenged by NorthPointe Christian in the districts then Muskegon Heights in the regional final.
Detroit Loyola 20-5 vs Hanover Horton 22-2: Detroit Loyola has been tearing through a Who’s Who Directory of Class C Basketball to get to this point, so why not another perennial power on the docket? Hanover-Horton is looking for a return appearance to Breslin, while for Loyola it would be a school first.
Marine City Cardinal Mooney 17-7 vs Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 20-4: This is a repeat of the Catholic League semifinals. Cardinal Mooney can’t help but think they gave that one away, while WOLL senior guard Andrew Kline knows he’s a much better player than we saw there too.
Traverse City West
Fulton 18-6 vs Bellaire 24-1, 6 pm: We shouldn’t have counted out Fulton from making a return trip to Breslin, given how senior guard Colton Antes shoots it. Bellaire barely escaped Buckley in the regional final but it’s a new day here.