The Illinois high school state boys basketball tournament could be missing some top teams this season.Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)
coach Robert Smith said seven Chicago city teams have discussed not participating in the state event this season, instead choosing to hold their own tournament. Simeon is the two-time defending state champion in Class 4A and currently is ranked No. 1.
According to Mike Helfgot of the Chicago Tribune
, several city teams do not like that all of Chicago's 4A teams will compete for only one state berth. Previously, the city schools qualified through one of three sectionals, but that was trimmed to two this season.
Those two sectionals now are grouped within the same qualifying supersectional, meaning just one city team would be able to advance to state.
In the current top 10 state rankings listed by the Tribune, three other city teams are in the same sectional with the Wolverines – No. 3 Curie (Chicago, Ill.)
, seventh-ranked Bogan (Chicago, Ill.)
and No. 10 De La Salle (Chicago, Ill.)
"We have the best players, and only one team can get down (state)?" Smith told the newspaper.
Smith did not identify which other schools are interested in bypassing state, but said he has the approval from his principal to move ahead with an independent tournament. The gesture would be largely symbolic, as the Illinois High School Association does not require its member schools to participate in state events.