EPIC Tournament, at Rocky Mount Academy (Cary Christian)
- On the boys' side, I like Cary Christian to advance to the title game before falling to St. David's. If you've ever watched the Knights play, they run what I call a "swing-it-and-fling-it" offense. A lot of 3-pointers are taken and a lot of them go down. But they have little inside game, and St. David's has a beast on the low block named Gabe Rooth (gee, I know that rhymes with some famous name..). I'm a big believer that a great inside game is the most underrated factor in winning championships.
- On the girls' side, I say Cary Christian wins it all. I can't say enough good things about this team. They have shooters, they have rebounders, they have defensive specialists and they pass the ball as well as any girls team I've seen all year (granted I STILL haven't seen Apex this year). They also have Dakota Dukes, the best freshman girls' basketball player in the area. While Cary Christian did beat St. David's by just a point in one meeting this year, I think that was the rest of the field's best chance at taking out the Lady Knights. The Lady Knights win it all this year, and we're at it, I'll go ahead and pick the Lady Knights to win next year's EPIC tournament. They will return everybody from this year's 24-3 team.
TISAC Tournament, at North Raleigh Christian Academy (Cary Academy)
- I really like what Kenny Inge has brought to the Chargers this year. Just like the regular season, I like his team to beat everyone in the TISAC except for Ravenscroft. In case you haven't heard, the Ravens have two Division I recruits in 7-footer Matt Wilson (UNC-W) and 6-foot-9 Ryan Kelly (Duke). I have the Chargers taking a runner-up trophy home from this year's tournament.
- I can't really explain how the Lady Chargers have fallen off, but they certainly have. They've lost their last four (and five out of the last six) and are stumbling into the postseason. On talent, I'd put Cary Academy behind only Ravenscroft and their star player Lindsey Cowher. But based on their recent performances, I'm predicting a first-round exit.
Greater Neuse Conference Tournament, at several different locations (Holly Springs)
- The boys' team finished tied for fifth, but came out on the short end of the stick on a three-way draw. Holly Springs wound up with the 7-seed in the GNC Tournament and a first-round game at Knightdale. The Golden Hawks could still advance to the state playoffs if they go farther in the conference tournament than both SE Raleigh and East Wake, but it doesn't look good. Knightdale has been near-unstoppable since December. I'm calling it a first-round out.
- The Lady Golden Hawks picked up the No. 2 seed in their conference tournament, which is a great accomplishment for a team in their third year of competition. They haven't been foolproof, so I'm picking them to be upset by 3-seed East Wake when those teams meet in the quarterfinals (assuming each wins the first-round game). There's reason to believe they can make it all the way to the title game, where they would likely play SE Raleigh. Beating SE Raleigh, however, will be next to impossible, and I don't see Holly Springs making it quite that far.