How wild of a Friday night was it in the Chicago area? The Hoops Report's No. 2, No. 4, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 12 teams were all upset in key conference games. No. 11 Bloom needed two overtimes to hold off Rich East, while No. 20 Larkin edged rival Elgin 68-66.
The City/Suburban Hoops Report breaks down the magnitude of the night's five biggest upsets, looking at just how big each upset was (based on an Upset Richter Scale of 1-10) and the ramifications it might have for both teams going forward.
● Hales Franciscan over St. Rita
Upset Richter Scale: 10
How big? Lets put this into context. For starters, Hales is now 12-11 on the year. It lost to Morgan Park by 33 points. In the past two weeks, the Spartans fell to Bishop McNamara and lost to De La Salle by 29 points. Maybe St. Rita was still reeling from its home loss to Curie on Tuesday night, but this talent-laden Mustangs team falling to Hales is a complete shocker.
Ramifications: This was a kick in the gut to St. Rita, which drops out of first place in the Catholic League South with losses to both St. Ignatius and Hales Franciscan. Despite the loss, St. Rita shouldn't drop any lower than No. 5 in the Argo Sectional.
● Carmel over Niles Notre Dame
Upset Richter Scale: 9.5
How big? The East Suburban Catholic Conference is the deepest league in the state. But to extend the depth to include Carmel, a team that was 8-12 overall and just 1-4 in the ESCC? But Carmel, 3-8 in its last 11 games, stunned No. 7 Notre Dame 48-42.
Ramifications: With what should have been an expected win over Carmel, Notre Dame would have moved into a tie for first place in the East Suburban Catholic. Instead, it remains a game back. Even with the upset loss, Notre Dame probably has an impressive enough résumé to maintain the No. 1 seed in the Glenbrook North Sectional. Hopefully, a loss like this doesn't shake the confidence of a team that should have high hopes this March.
● Orr over Whitney Young
Upset Richter Scale: 9
How big? Strictly based off the rankings, No. 8 Orr over No. 2 Whitney Young may not seem huge. But this was big. Real big. Whitney Young was at home and had just two losses on the year -- a three-point loss to Simeon and an overtime loss to Montverde Academy, both ranked among the top 10 teams in the country. And the belief was that the city (and state?) was Simeon, Whitney Young, Morgan Park and everyone else.
Ramifications: For starters, Orr captured the Red-West title with the win and grabbed a whole lot of confidence going forward. Whitney Young, meanwhile, can say "we lost this game without one of our top players, Paul White, and we aren't very deep to begin with." But there is no doubt a loss at home to Orr, while left battle-tested as a result, raises some questions internally and externally.
● St. Viator over Benet Academy
Upset Richter Scale: 7.5
How big? This one registers on the upset richter scale due mostly to the fact Benet has one of the real homecourt advantages in high school basketball. Plus, St. Viator had lost to Niles Notre Dame by 16 and Lake Forest by 13 in the past 10 days. But to think Benet was going to run the table in arguably the state's toughest conference was probably a bit much to ask.
Ramifications: The impact of St. Viator's win will be felt. First, Benet drops its first conference game (fortunately Benet received help from Carmel, which upset Notre Dame), while St. Viator puts itself within striking distance of at least a share of the title. The timing of the upset couldn't be better for St. Viator, which can now legitimately argue for a No. 2 seed (behind Stevenson) in the Waukegan Sectional. As for Benet? A bounce back game Saturday night against West Aurora is badly needed if it wants to secure the No. 1 seed in the Bolingbrook Sectional.
● Lakes over North Chicago
Upset Richter Scale: 6.5
How big? It measures a little lower on the Upset Richter Scale due to North Chicago's team being turned upside down by the suspension of leading scorer JaVairius Amos-Mays and a couple of key reserves. Still, on paper, North Chicago, which beat Lakes 78-61 back in December, had plenty of firepower to put the North Suburban Prairie Conference race to rest.
Ramifications: The thought that North Chicago might not win the North Suburban Prairie would have been laughable a couple of weeks ago. Now it's real as both Lakes and North Chicago are tied for the top spot at 9-1. As far as sectional seeds go, this one might not have much of an impact either way as these two will likely meet again in the Antioch Sectional.
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