1. Owensboro Catholic Aces (21-9, 17-3) - The Aces roll into the 3rd region tourney with the golden horseshoe. In the first round district game against Daviess County, they used a furious 4th quarter rally and last second put back by JD Marshall to eliminate the Panthers. They erased an 11 point 2nd half deficit in the win. In the district title game, they trailed Apollo by 7 late in the 4th, but rallied to cut the lead to 3. Luke Hayden nailed a contested 40 footer as time expired to push the game into overtime where Catholic would hold on to win. Coach Tim Riley and the Aces come into the Sportscenter as the top team left standing in the region.

2. Meade County Greenwaves (16-6, 8-4) - Meade County comes into the tournament red hot, winning 6 of their last 7 games. They had an impressive win against a good Central Hardin team late in the regular season, then dominated the 11th district, knocking off Breck County by 10. The Waves are the defending region champs and have been to the title game in each of Coach Tripure's first 3 seasons. They probably got the toughest draw of any district champion however, as they take on red hot Apollo.

3. Ohio County Eagles (15-13, 12-5) - The Eagles defeated Muhlenberg County in impressive fashion to win the 10th district title. In their elimination game earlier last week, they knocked off upset minded Mclean County 62-49. Forwards John Parker and Logan Sandefur give the Eagles a chance to beat anyone on any night. Throw in great shooters like Dylan Decker and Trey Lewis and the Eagles could be a dangerous team with Tony Hopper leading the charge.

4. Apollo Eagles (13-15, 8-9) - Pure talent alone, Apollo is probably the best or second best team left standing in the region. 11 of Apollo's 15 losses have come by 4 points or less. They were a prayer away from beating Owensboro Catholic in the district championship. Back on Tuesday night, they upset the #1 Owensboro Red Devils in dramatic fashion. If Apollo can avoid foul trouble and can continue to play loose, they are going to be a very tough out. Big man James Graham has been the difference. He has improved all season, and has become the best big man in the region. It also gives Apollo a high percentage go-to guy late in games. If they can somehow keep momentum from a great 9th district tournament run, Apollo has a great shot of getting to Rupp.

5. Muhlenberg County Mustangs (11-15, 7-5) - The Mustangs had a bit of a let down in the 10th district championship game on Thursday. Coming off a bye, they never captured the energy that Ohio County was able to come out with. Will Nofsinger is the top scorer in the region and gives the Stangs a chance to make a run. The supporting cast however, is very young. It will be interesting to see how the Mustangs react to the regional tournament environment.

6. Breck County Tigers (15-12, 12-9) - Breck County had a very up and down regular season and that trend seemed to continue in the 11th district tournament. They knocked off a dangerous Hancock County team to keep their season alive in the district's first round. They could not sustain that momentum into the championship, losing to Meade by 10. The Tigers have Kobe Poole to lean on, but will have to find him some help in a very tough first round match-up with Owensboro Catholic.

7. Grayson County Cougars (13-16, 9-10) - The Cougars were the team left standing with the trophy in the wild 12th district tournament. They survived a tough game against rival Butler County in the first round and went on to blow out Edmonson for the title. The Cougars believe they are back where they belong, as they dominated this district for a long time. Former player, now coach Travis Johnston is looking to start his legacy at the school. They will be leaning on Bailey Logsdon moving forward.

8. Edmonson County Wildcats (10-21, 7-10) - The Cats continued their dominance over the Trinity Raiders this season with an upset win at the new Barn back last Monday night. That win puts them in the tournament. They were defeated soundly in the district title game by Grayson County. Edmonson will look to be the Cinderella of the 3rd region tournament, as they have nothing to lose. Logan Lindsey is the leading scorer at 11.4 points per game.

Meade vs Apollo - This should be the marquee game of the 1st round. These two teams did not meet in the regular season. While Apollo probably has more talent in their first 6-7 guys, Meade knows how to win and that is an area Apollo has struggled with all season. The Eagles will present a mismatch with James Graham in the middle. This game will come down to who can control the tempo. Whoever does that should win. PREDICTION: Apollo by 6

Ohio vs Edmonson - The Eagles come in with a lot of confidence. Look for big games by John Parker and Logan Sandefur. Tony Hopper is a surgeon this time of year and I expect that to continue on Wednesday night. PREDICTION: Ohio Co by 12

Grayson vs Muhlenberg - This is the the matchup that probably has the highest upset potential. Muhlenberg beat Grayson by 16 way back in the 2nd game of the season. If Nofsinger struggles to shoot, the Stangs could be in trouble, but i dont expect that to happen 2 games in a row. The Mustangs have played a TOUGH regular season schedule and this should be the time that pays off. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg by 5

Owensboro Catholic vs Breckenridge County - The Aces come into this game as an overwhelming favorite, but keep your eye on this one. They have played down to competition at times this season and have periods where they struggle to score. Kobe Poole can score with the best of them. The Tigers will have to take care of the ball if they want to have any shot. I have to think that Tim Riley will do his best to take away things that Poole likes to do. PREDICTION: Owensboro Catholic by 10.

3rd Region Championship Prediction: Apollo over Owensboro Catholic - Ill go homer with the prediction and take the Eagles to win it all. I think the 9th district has been the best all season, and Apollo is battle tested. If they bring the same mentality to the Sportscenter as they brought in the district title game last week, they are going to be hard to beat. The Aces would have to defeat them for 5th time (2 by last second shots), and that will be a tough task.

1. Will Nofsinger - Muhlenberg County (24ppg) - Nofsinger can score it better than anyone in the region. He is the type of player that can make everyone around him dangerous and that could be a recipe for an upset run to a regional title.

2. Aiden Matthews - Meade County (19.8 points/7.4 rebounds) - Matthews is the best player in the 3rd region that no one knows about. Playing in Meade County can sometimes do that to guys(being that its so far away from most region schools). Matthews can do it all and could be a big reason that Waves return to Rupp for the 2nd straight year.

3. Luke Hayden - Owensboro Catholic (11ppg) - While Hayden has admitiedly had a down season this year, he has also battled though very tough injuries. In the past 4 games he has gone over 20 points and looks to have a refreshed bounce to his step. If Catholic wins their 2nd regional title in 3 years, he will be a big big reason why.

4. Kobe Poole - Breck County (23.5ppg) - Poole knows how to score. Much like Nofsinger, when he gets going, he makes everyone around him better. He could be a key in pulling off a major first round upset vs Owensboro Catholic.

5. Nathan Boyle - Apollo (15.8ppg) - Boyle had a fantastic 9th district tournament and is probably one of the most underrated players in the region, by the fans at least. Coach Tim Riley called Boyle the best shooter in the region and a guy you must account for. Boyle has been attacking the rim a lot lately and has really improved his rebounding as well.

6. James Graham - Apollo - Graham has steadily improved his game throughout the season. Coming into the season he didnt have much of any varsity experience. He is a late bloomer who is blooming at the right time for Apollo. Graham is easily the best shot blocker in the region and protects the rim as well as anyone.

7 & 8. Logan Sandefur & John Parker - Ohio County - Both guys have a very similar game. Sandefur is probably a little better shooter and Parker is probably a little better down low, but both guys can beat you. They are a very good comination for Tony Hopper.

9.JD Marshall - Owensboro Catholic (12ppg/6rpg) - Marshall was the hero against Daviess County, with the go ahead rebound and putback with 1.5 seconds to go. Outside James Graham from Apollo, there really isnt a guy in the region who should be able to handle him on the block.

10. Chezney Weick - Meade County (10.6ppg/6rpg) - What I like about Weick is, he has been there before. He was a huge factor in last years regional title game. He is a scraper down low and can hit the mid range jumper. He should present some problems to teams with his physicality.