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Top 10 games to watch this week in the Ohio high school boys basketball playoffs

Upsets aplenty have hit the boys bracket as we approach regionals.
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By Sam Houseworth | Photo by Ben Jackson

Nothing is going as it seems in the boys tournaments. 

GCL South Champion Elder was upset by Turpin in overtime in the district semifinals. 

Dunbar, which won the DPS, is already sitting at home. 

In D-IV, MAC co-champion New Bremen was eliminated by conference rival St. Henry, which finished below .500 in MAC play. 

The boys basketball tournaments are full of twists and turns. 

While not much below could result in a mind-blowing upset, it could change the face of the next three weeks of postseason basketball.

10. Liberty-Benton vs. Ottawa-Glandorf (5:30 p.m. Thursday); Bluffton vs. Wayne Trace (7:30 p.m. Wednesday), D-III Lima District

While undoubtedly there are two favorites in the Lima district, there are no sacrificial lambs to speak of. O-G and Wayne Trace are both top 5 teams in D-III that are on a collision course to meet three rounds before the state semifinals. However, Bluffton comes as champions of the Northwest Conference, while Liberty-Benton is responsible for one of Bluffton's two losses.

9. Westerville North vs. Westerville South at Big Walnut, D-I Columbus District Semifinal, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Nothing like a good old-fashioned crosstown rivalry with a trip to the district final on the line. Westerville South has the best team since former Ohio State Buckeye Kaleb Wesson took them to their first state championship in 2016. However, this isn't to say that South is a lock. North gave its crosstown foes two of their closest games of the season, a 45-43 loss in mid-December and a 74-65 loss in late January.

8. Cuyahoga Heights vs. Richmond Heights (7 p.m. Monday), Cornerstone Christian vs. Dalton (7 p.m. Tuesday), D-IV Norton District

Much like the Lima District above, this is a district with two clear favorites and two underdogs that are more than capable of pulling off bracket-altering upsets. Richmond Heights is the favorite to win its first boys basketball state championship in school history. Dalton, after winning its third straight WCAL championship, would be a favorite to head to state in any other region. Cornerstone Christian will be a heavy underdog Tuesday, despite only one loss on its resume. Cuyahoga Heights heads to the district semifinals with two blowout wins in the sectionals against Campus International and Mogadore.

7. Fairfield vs. Walnut Hills at U. of Cincinnati, D-I Southwest District Final, 8 p.m. Sunday

The two champions of two of the most prestigious conferences in southwest Ohio will meet in the district final after practically coasting through the sectionals and district semis. Fairfield became a mainstay in the SBLive Top 25, winning the Greater Miami Conference and finishing the season on a seven-game win streak. Eastern Cincinnati champions Walnut Hills possesses one of the best defenses in this corner of the state, averaging 45.5 points against per game. The Eagles are anchored by sophomore big man Tyler McKinley, who led the ECC in points per game and was in the top three in rebounds and blocks.

6. Latham Western vs. Trimble at Wellston, D-IV Southeast District Final, 6:30 p.m. Friday

Despite upsets throughout the state, the D-IV region that feeds in Athens has played out as expected by most in southeast and eastern Ohio. As a result, we are treated to two conference champions who will be locking horns Friday. The Western Indians won the Southern Ohio I Division champions and enter the district final on a 14-game win streak, undefeated since Christmas. Trimble is the top seed, having won the Tri-Valley Hocking Division after a 17-0 start to the season.

5. Georgetown vs. Versailles at U. of Cincinnati, D-III Southwest District Final, noon Saturday

One MAC co-champion that survived deep into the postseason was Versailles after finishing the season at 20-1. The Tigers will get their first major test in SBAAC National Champion Georgetown, which is 13-1 in its last 14 games. The G-Men are led by guard Carson Miles, who averages 17.5 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game.

4. Jonathan Alder vs. Bloom-Carroll at Westerville North, D-II Columbus District Semifinal, 7 p.m. Tuesday

The two-headed monster that is Evan Dozer and Jared Rose has been unstoppable for most Bloom-Carroll opponents. The two seniors are averaging 22.8 and 15.3 points per game, respectively. Jonathan Alder enters the district semifinal, coasting through the CBC Kenton Trail Division, finishing 9-1 and winning another division title. The good news for Jonathan Alder is that Bloom-Carroll's two losses came despite both Dozer and Rose scoring in double digits.

3. Heath vs. Buckeye Valley at Highland, D-II Columbus District Semifinal, 7 p.m. Tuesday

One great aspect of the postseason is seeing completely different styles of basketball clash in a philosophical war of strategies. However, when Heath and Buckeye Valley square off, it will be teams for which the main difference is the names on the front. Both teams rely on bench depth as opposed to one or two star players to lead in scoring. Both teams play disciplined man defense. Both teams enter as kings of their respective conferences. All in all, one thing that can't be expected is a blowout in this district semifinal.

2. Lima Perry vs. Spencerville, D-IV, Wapakoneta District Semifinal, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

The Perry Commodores won an improved Northwest Central Conference this season, clinching the NWCC after a 70-59 win over runner-up Upper Scioto Valley. However, the season hasn't been without drama when first-year head coach Clay Tucker resigned, then un-resigned in January. Even with the distraction, the Commodores have had no issues in their path through the postseason. Next up is Spencerville, which dominated NWCC runner-up Upper Scioto Valley on Friday to get to the district semis.

1. Chaminade Julienne vs. Woodward at U. of Dayton, D-II, Southwest District Final, 5 p.m. Wednesday

Nobody would envy Chaminade Julienne and the path it's had to take to get this far. Nonetheless, the GCL Co-Ed runner-up has survived a gauntlet that includes Dunbar and Tippecanoe and finds itself one win away from a spot in the Vandalia regional. Its last test is top-seeded Woodward, which floated in and out of the SBLive Top 25 all season long. The Bulldogs are riding a 12-game win streak after winning the CMAC East Division, their first title since joining the conference.