The Annandale Cardinals make a lot of references to the notion that playing in the Wright County Conference helps prepare them for the playoffs.
It seems appropriate then that Annandale gets a Wright County opponent in the first round of the state boys basketball tournament.
The top-seeded Cardinals play unseeded New London-Spicer at 6 p.m. Wednesday the Target Center in Minneapolis.
It’s the first round of the state Class 2A tournament.
Annandale (23-6) beat New London-Spicer (19-10) twice during the regular season.
Both were good games: 61-50 Jan. 30 at Annandale and 61-57 Feb. 6 at New London.
Both won their respective sections Friday night at St. Cloud State. Annandale beat Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 67-51 in 6-2A and New London-Spicer downed Melrose 70-59 for the 5-2A title.
The rest of the Class 2A first-round pairings:
No. 5 St. Paul Academy (20-8) vs. No. 4 Caledonia (27-2);
East Grand Forks (20-9) vs. No. 2 Esko (26-3);
St. Peter (14-14) vs. No. 3 Fairmont (24-4).
If Annandale wins, it plays at 6 p.m. Friday at Target Center against the St. Paul Academy/Caledonia winner.
Before knowing how the seeds would turn out, Annandale head coach Skip Dolan mentioned Caledonia, Esko and Fairmont as likely top seeds. He also felt the Cardinals, the team with the highest remaining QRF rating in 2A (No. 3), were deserving.
Class 2A’s championship game is 2 p.m. Saturday at Target Center.
Meanwhile, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa got the No. 1 seed in Class A.
The Jaguars (28-1) play Park Christian of Moorhead (22-9) at 11 a.m. Thursday at Williams Arena.
The rest of the Class A first-round pairings:
No. 5 Fond du Lac Ojibwe (23-3) vs. No. 4 Canby (25-4);
Red Lake (23-7) vs. No. 2 Maranatha Christian (25-3);
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (21-7) vs. No. 3 Rushford-Peterson (29-1).