Anyone who derides prep basketball for being slow and methodical or lacking the intensity and athleticism of the college and pro games clearly hasn't spent much time in Madison gyms.
Madison Memorial, led by Marquette-bound Vander Blue, is the reigning state champ. Madison East, led by Wisconsin football recruit Marquis Mason, is the only team that beat the Spartans last season, but Memorial evened the score in the regular season's final game. A year later, East is the top-ranked team in Wisconsin, according to wissports.net, with a record of 8-0. Memorial is ranked third with losses to Detroit Country Day School at a tournament in Michigan and the surprising Sun Prairie Cardinals (who play East on Friday night).
The Purgolders and Spartans will play twice in the regular season this year, with the first game at Memorial on Saturday night. Tickets are already gone, but the game will be broadcast online at Channel3000.com.
The following video, posted to YouTube this week by "maxamillium02," seeks to hype Saturday's game with thrilling footage of Blue, Mason, East guard Nimrod Hilliard IV and Memorial guard Junior Lomomba accompanied by a dramatic score.