The path that teams have to travel through the postseason has been set for boys and girls basketball.
Let’s take a look at where area teams are headed:
A heavy concentration of area teams in the Class 4A ranks are involved in the 22-team Aurora East Sectional grouping.
Regionals will be conducted at Bolingbrook, Joliet West, Oswego and Andrew.
The local entrants involved in those four regionals are Bolingbrook, Joliet Central, Joliet West, Lemont, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way West, Lockport, Minooka, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield North, Plainfeld South and Romeoville.
Top threats to emerge into the sectional are Bolingbrook, Oswego East, West Aurora and Waubonsie Valley, with several others poised to make a push.
Looking beyond the sectional, whoever emerges from this group likely will find themselves with a huge challenge as top teams on the other side of the sectional include Danville, Bloomington and Belleville West, which features arguably the best player in the state in E.J. Liddell. The supersectional game, which feeds into the state final, will be held at Illinois State University.
The local contingent of Class 3A teams are involved in the Rich South Sectional. In this grouping, the teams are divided into subsectionals. Joliet Catholic and Providence Catholic are in Subsectional A, while Coal City and Morris is in Subsectional B.
Hillcrest looks like the strong favorite in Subsectional A, while Kankakee appears to be the top team in Subsectional B.
In Class 2A, Peotone will host a sectional. The Blue Devils are in Subsectional B, while other locals Reed-Custer, Seneca and Wilmington are in Subsectional A.
In the Class 1A rankings, Dwight will host a regional as part of the Ridgeview Sectional. Gardner-South Wilmington also finds itself in the same Subsectional grouping as Dwight.
The Class 4A rankings are a bit more divided in the girls ranks.
Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way West all are part of a yet-to-be-declared sectional grouping that feeds into the Illinois Wesleyan Supesectional. Lincoln-Way West is also slated to host a regional.
The large majority of Class 4A area teams will compete as part of the Plainfield North Sectional. Bolingbrook, Lockport and Plainfield North will serve as hosts, while Joliet Central, Joliet West, Lemont, Minooka, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield South and Romeoville also are participating in the group.
The winner of the Plainfield North Sectional advances to a Supersectional hosted by Lewis University. Both Montini and Benet, two strong programs, reside on the opposite side of the bracket.
Coal City will host a sectional in Class 3A and all of the local entrants in that classification find themselves in the Subsectional B, as Coal City, Joliet Catholic, Morris and Providence will play at regionals hosted by either Ottawa or Rich South.
Kankakee appears to be a heavy favorite to emerge from that group.
In Class 2A, Peotone, Reed-Custer and Wilmington all are part of Subsectional B as part of the Gibson-City Melvin Sibley Sectional. Those three teams could find themselves at a regional hosted by Beecher or Herscher.
Seneca takes an entirely differently path through the postseason. The Fighting Irish are part of the Oregon Sectional and will play in Subsectional A in a regional hosted by Spring Valley Hall or a yet to be determined location.
Like their boys team, Dwight will host a regional in the Class 1A ranks. That group will play as part of the Ottawa Marquette Sectional. Gardner-South Wilmington is the lone other local team in that subsectional and will play either at Dwight or Annawan.