Class 5A Boys
No. 1 Roswell (24-4) vs. No. 2 Capital (25-5), 2 p.m.: This is one of only two boys brackets that spit out a 1-2 final, but the Coyotes and Jaguars certainly had a rough time getting here, with both facing stern challenges in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Something has to give — Roswell averages 66 points a game; Capital only gives up 42 a game. The Jags suffered a tough loss in the final last year to rival Española Valley and are looking for their first championship since 2004.
Class 4A Boys
No. 1 Hope Christian (25-5) vs. No. 2 Portales (25-4), noon: Rarely can it be said that the Huskies — New Mexico’s most dominant program over the last decade — have an extra incentive to beat anybody, but that might be the case today. The Rams came into Hope’s gym two weeks ago and beat the Huskies in the district tournament final, and surely the Huskies are not disappointed to see Portales again. Hope Christian is after its fifth consecutive championship and eighth in nine years.
Class 3A Boys
No. 1 Pecos (28-1) vs. No. 3 Santa Rosa (21-8), 10 a.m.: A tale of two paths: The Panthers haven’t encountered any serious resistance to get to the final, while the Lions have played two overtime games this week. Pecos coach Ira Harge Jr. won a state title as a player with St. Pius (his father, Ira Sr., is a former Lobo) and was a New Mexico Highlands assistant before he took over for Russ Gilmore at Pecos. Santa Rosa hasn’t won state since 1990. The drought is longer for Pecos, going back to 1966.
Class 2A Boys
No. 2 Lordsburg (28-2) vs. No. 5 Mesilla Valley (23-8), 6 p.m.: The SonBlazers have been one of the state’s top small-school programs for many years; they knocked out undefeated Magdalena in the semifinals. Today, they face a district rival. Lordsburg took two of the three regular-season meetings but lost the most recent matchup. Mesilla Valley already has won three titles since 2010, while the Mavs are looking for their first since 1974, the last year the school appeared in the championship game.
Class 1A Boys
No. 2 Maxwell (27-3) vs. No. 5 Springer (23-9), 8 a.m.: These two schools along I-25 are separated by only 14 miles, between Las Vegas and Raton. This will the be the sixth meeting of the season. The Bears and veteran Eloy Brazil, a small-school coaching legend who previously has won state with Springer in 2004 and 2002, and also Cimarron in 1979, have won three of the five, including the last two by 17 and 14 points. The Red Devils blew out No. 1 Quemado in the semis. Maxwell has never won a state basketball crown and hasn’t played for once since 1960.