Izzo: The last Class B basketball tournaments as we know them tip off today

Three-class basketball begins next March which signals the end of an era for North Dakota basketball.
Four Winds-Minnewaukan fans and players celebrate their North Dakota Class B Boys Basketball Tournament championship victory Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Minot.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

North Dakota will return to its past next year with the introduction of three-class basketball.

It signals a return to a time when towns like Grandin, Tokio and Arthur won state championships. While it's not expected that those towns will bring home titles when three-class basketball returns in March of 2024, the hope is there for some change from the status quo of the last decade.

This is the swan song as we know it for the Class B tournaments.

This year's Class B has three teams that will move up to the new Class A in Central Cass, Thompson and Rugby. It's probably no coincidence either those are the top three seeds in this year's event.

The Class B has its Cinderella in Garrison, who already slayed the proverbial giant in Shiloh Christian, meaning no private schools reached this year's Class B. The Troopers are already state heroes for doing that. Anything they do this weekend is gravy.


And that's a major reason of why change is coming. Fans and certain administrators wanted to see the bigger schools and private schools out of Class B.

Now that's the case. What is left in its stead? You will have truly small schools competing in Class B, but with the Class A tourney happening at the same time, will people still care?

We don't know the answer. But it's a risk that North Dakota schools we're willing to take. So soak it up this week and in two weeks time in Bismarck.

Because things will never be the same again.

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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