Ball Fever: Previewing the 4A and 5A boys basketball Sweet 16

ThunderRidge Mountain Vista boys basketball

(Tim Bourke/TimBourke.com)

Well, that escalated quickly!! We've already been treated to a ton of action, exciting games, and of course some early upsets that none of the experts saw coming.

Let's take a brief look and how we got here and look ahead to the 5A and 4A boys basketball Sweet 16.

Class 5A

Chauncey Billups Region

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

We talked about Obi Agbim of the overall No. 1 seed Rangeview having a history of stepping up BIG come playoff time and he did just that scoring 25 points in the Raiders 40 point romp over Arvada West.

The Raiders will now face 16 seed Mountain Vista, who raced past Chatfield to the tune of 91-55! No need for the shot clock "call" when Rangeview and the Eagles hook up. Both squads averaging 75 points per game so the score keeper and statistician better be ready!

Vista will need all of Reece Kelly's 18-point, nine-rebound average to have a chance of keeping up with the deep and talented roster of our top seed.

The higher seeds in the bottom half of the bracket played out just as the RPI predicted as well. But it wasn't easy! Boulder, the 8 seed, held off a ThunderRidge squad we predicted would play tough to a two-point game, while Columbine held off their league foe Dakota Ridge by 5.

Boulder will be rooting for Luke O'Brien in the future once he joins the Buffaloes but they won't be on this night! O'Brien was an absolute "stat-stuffer" in the Rebels' win with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists!

The Panthers will obviously have to set their defense to slow Luke down, if possible! Both squads come in with identical 20-4 records ... something has to give!

Chuck Williams Region

Grandview Smoky Hill boys basketball

(Marcus Gipson/Jmariahimages.com)

The No. 2 overall seed got a strong scare from a game Fountain-Fort Carson squad who outscored the Knights 19-14 in the fourth quarter but the come back attempt came up just short, losing by 1.

Greyson Carter does a little bit of everything and averages 17 points 9 rebounds per game and will likely match up at time with Vista Peak's AJ Lacabe, who was right at his average of 12 points in the Bison's 11-point win over visiting Windsor in Round 2. All of the higher RPI seeds advance here.

When the Smoky Hill Buffaloes are rolling it's an absolute SHOW! They were ready Saturday as they poured in 105 points and pulled away from Fossil Ridge.

The Buffaloes have a pure point guard senior leader in Quinten Rock who paces them and the ultra athletic Jalen Weaver. Add in Anthony Harris Jr's high flying antics with his complete game coming together more and more as sophomores, they are definitely worth the price of admission!

What could stop a deep and talented team? A team with another four-year starting point guard with Chaparral's Kobe Sanders, who can heat up this time of year. Sophomore Jeremiah Coleman is becoming a nightly stat-stuff fixture for Chap, who put up 91 points of their own vs Douglas County in Round 2.

Back in December Smoky pulled off a five-point road win in Chap's house during tourney play but as we mentioned last week Chap's youth has stepped up and the team is not what they were months ago. A fun PACE and PLACE to be here!

Larry Farmer Region

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

This region brought our first "upset" as a veteran George Washington squad, led by a Kendale Johnson Jr. back to scoring in the 20s recently, who took down an up and coming young Horizon squad. This made Horizon our highest-seeded team to lose at seed 14.

The Patriots will have even more on their plate as they will have to travel to No. 3 seed Ralston Valley, who had a strong 20-point first quarter and closed with a 21-point fourth quarter to beat Arapahoe by 11.

The Fever Crew loves senior leadership this time of year and Ralston Valley had three seniors score in double figures led by big man Caleb Rillos' 21! GW has the athletes to compete with RV's size...this will be SWEET.

The higher-seeds prevailed in the bottom half of the Farmer Region in Valor and Eaglecrest ready to meet in the Sweet 16.

Valor is the higher seed at No. 6 and got a test from Rocky Mountain but Roger Rosengarten was 6-6 from the field for 15 total points. Armando Miller, a dynamic junior, is the Eagles usual leading scorer and they'll need both to keep up with the Raptors 67-point-per-game average, led by Zion Ruckard's 17 points per game.

Eaglecrest lost to Overland by 9 in early February but were able to win Saturday's match by 12 in their third game vs the Trailblazers this year.

The Raptors and Eagles will be one of the better Sweet 16 match ups we have!

Kent Smith Region

Pomona Denver East boys basketball

(Kevin McNearny)

This region provided our biggest upset of 2020 in the Regis Raiders going into the Bruins den and knocking off one of the hottest teams in the state, Cherry Creek.

Many felt that the Bruins earned the No. 2 or 3 seed spot with their late-season run and winning our state's toughest league but the 29-seed Raiders were having none of it. The Fever Crew watched Regis get their first win over GW months ago after a rare 0-9 start in- and out-of-state. We mentioned then to not let that 0-9 start fool you! Coach Shaw has found a way to get this squad playing their best ball at the right time!

Regis is loaded with juniors and Michael Wolf led the huge upset with 21 points. Not much time for Regis to celebrate as the reward for knocking off Creek is a visit to Denver East who took down Legend at home in Round 2.

The Angels don't have the depth of East teams of the past but have a core who can play with anyone in the state when playing their pressure style game. Sophomore Quis Davis led the scoring in the win over Legend with 17 points. A true battle of contrasting styles with East averaging 85 points per game compared to Regis' 57. 

Another surprise in bottom of this region with Broomfield seizing a 1-point win on the road at Pine Creek. Gets even tougher for Broomfield, as well, with their reward being a Sweet 16 visit to Grandview.

6-foot-9 senior Ryan Collins is leading Broomfield in points and rebounds and he will likely see a lot of the Grandview big man Caleb McGill who's averaging 17 points per game.

The Eagles score at a faster pace then the Wolves who methodically wear you down with patience offense, depth, and size. The Wolves are senior heavy with four starters who have already committed to play college ball ... the Eagles will have their hands full!

Class 4A

Ron Vlasin Region

Lincoln Kennedy boys basketball

(David Harvey/ImageProPhotography.com)

Our overall No. 1 seed Mead scored more than 80 points again in their Round 2 win and now take their 75-point per game average up against Silver Creek, who survived a tight 2 point win over Thomas Jefferson to reach the Sweet 16. Silver Creek and Mead will face off for the first time this year.

The Fever Crew had a chance to see Mead live this year and they are a well-oiled machine with players that know their roles and don't try to do too much. Kudos to the coaching staff because teams with this type of talent and depth are at time hard to "mesh" but it's clear why Mead is No. 1.

Silver Creek's Andrew Duquette is leading his squad with 19 points per game and they'll need that and more to keep pace with Mead.

The bottom half of the Vlasin Region brought what many thought was a possibility with No. 25 seed taking down No. 8 seed Cheyenne Mountain. Cheyenne Mountain held the No. 1 spot in our rankings for a LONG stretch this year and New Mexico bound Javonte Johnson averaged an unreal 30 points and 10 rebounds for the ENTIRE season! However, this Lincoln Lancer squad has some stud seniors of their own in TJ Bamba (Washington State commit) and Ty Foster, who led the Lancers to an 8 point win on the road.

The Lancers now travel to Montrose, who is 20-4 on the season after Round 2 two-point win over Evergreen.  Don't look past Lincoln's 15-10 record Montrose...these guys can hoop!

Larry Brunson Region

Pueblo West Sand Creek boys basketball

Glenwood Springs was not tested winning by 25 over Weld Central and their Sweet 16 opponent did face a tougher match with Green Mountain's 50-46 win over Centaurus. Both teams average right in the mid-50's in points per game and balanced team scoring across the board.

All signs show for this one to be close and come right down to the final minutes.

The bottom half of the bracket brings us a rematch! Back in December, Pueblo West handed Harrison a loss on their home floor 65-62. All of the higher seeds in this region advanced, as well, with Pueblo West getting Sand Creek by 3 and Harrison cruising past Sierra 55-28.

Taylor Harris is the lead man for Pueblo West here and junior Donta Dawson 19 points per game paces the Panthers in this rematch.

Guy Gibbs Region

Cheyenne Mountain Widefield boys basketball

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

Only one team pulled an upset in this region with Widefield taking down Conifer by a convincing 13 points. The top seed in the region, No. 3 Longmont, humbled Palisade by 28 points!

Widefield's upset success has been powered by senior Randall Days' 20 points, 8 rebounds per game. Longmont comes in 21-3 behind Dallas Dye's 15 points and 7 rebounds per outing. 

19-5 Skyline vs. the 18-5 The Classical Academy is our Sweet 16 match bottom half of this region. Another region with all of the RPI higher seeds advancing.

Austin Robison is the stat-stuffer for Skyline at 14 points, 6 rebounds with Micah Lambert scoring 15 points per for TCA. Another match that either team can come out on top! 

Richard Tate Region

(Dennis Pleuss/ Jeffco Athletics)

Very interesting region here! Again, the higher seeds rolled right through on the top and bottom part of the region. No. 4 seed Golden and No. 5 seed Northfield look to be on a collision course in the Great 8 but Erie and Pueblo East are both teams that have big upsets under their belts already in the regular season so they'll be no fear on the road. 

Golden won a three-point game in early December tournament play over Pueblo East so these two teams are familiar with one another. "Freshman Alert!" Allen Acevedo scored 16 points for the Demons in that tourney game.

In the bottom half Ladorian Havard is leading Erie in points, rebounds, and blocks, while he'll see a lot of Nahsyah Bolar who averages a double-double of 18 points, 11 rebounds for the Nighthawks. The cream will rise!

Get out and enjoy, folks! The Sweet 16 is the last opportunity to get out and support our awesome student athletes in 5A at their neighborhood gym and 4A only has a couple games left before we enjoy the Coliseum for a finish that won't let us down!