Illinois rolls to Great State Debate final
Great State Debate bracket
Landslide voting results are nothing new in Illinois, and the entire state can celebrate one Thursday with the revelation that the Land of Lincoln has swamped California in this week's ESPN RISE Great State Debate.
When voting was closed Wednesday night, Illinois collected an impressive 70.9 percent of responders compared with just 29.1 percent for California.
The victory pushes Illinois into the final matchup of this Great State Debate. The No. 2 seed will go up against surprising No. 5 seed Michigan, which upset No. 1 New York last week.
In addition to New York, California joins Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas on the outside looking in for the boys' basketball Great State Debate.
In this past fall's Great State Debate for football, Texas won in the final over Florida. California lost in the semifinals of that one as well.
Best of the Great State Debate"Indiana is probably the only state that packs the gyms for HS games than Illinois does. Small towns of just a few thousand routinely fill gyms beyond capacity. Across the board Cali doesn't even come close to that. Small towns have nothing better to do than to watch high school sports. The same thing happens in my small California town."
"Along with that, Catholic High School in the Chicago Area has to be the best in the country. Along with many great players that have played and the deep talent that will be recruited by major D 1, the pride that the student sections show are unbelievable. Friday night conference basketball in the Chicago Catholic League or the East Suburban Catholic Conference is the place to be and a road victory is often hard to come by."
"Chicago by far is the better hoop state. If you're going to put Tyson Chandler as a great, why leave off Kendall Gill or Adrian Dantley? Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Terry Cummings, Adrian Dantley, Tim Hardaway and Mo Cheeks too much talent there."
"The great thing about Illinois hoops is that its quality is all over the state. The downstate schools from the Quad Cities, Peoria, Quincy and East St. Louis don't cower in fear when March Madness comes. They know they more than hold their own versus their big city brethren. Go to any of those gyms and you will see great basketball with amazing fan support year after year. In California there are often more people on the court than in the stands."
-- sports medic
"If it were surfing or skateboarding then California wins hands down. But it isn't and everyone knows Illinois brings it when it comes to hoops."
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GREAT STATE DEBATE
The Great State Debate poses a simple question: Which state has the best high school basketball? We narrowed the field to six. SportsNation selected the final two from a group of six. In the eight team bracket, Michigan was crowned champion. MORE
California// California, Illinois boast impressive résumés
// Flores: Debate within a state
// Golden State advances to Round 2
// California edges past New Jersey
// Round 1: California vs. New Jersey
// Watch: California legends
Georgia// Georgia legends
// Winklejohn: SW Macon still remembered
Illinois// Michigan, Illinois vie for title
// Peoria, not Chicago, boasts best high school hoops
// California, Illinois boast impressive résumés
// Illinois advances in Round 1
// Bush: Pingatore sets high bar in Illinois
// Round 1: Kentucky vs. Illinois
// Watch: Illinois legends
Indiana// Indiana legends / Highlights
// Giuffra: Half man, half amazing // Indiana faces tough test in New York
// Indiana, Kentucky voted in
Kentucky// Bluegrass State eyes upset in Round 1 // Bluegrass legends // Indiana, Kentucky voted in
Michigan// Michigan crowned Greatest State
// Watch: Jemele Hill states her case for Michigan
// Michigan natives star in-state
// Michigan, Illinois vie for title
// Michigan takes a bite out of New York
// New York, Michigan clash in semifinals
// Flint's blue-collar mentality produces top-flight talent
// Michigan muscles out Pennsylvania
// Michigan meets Pennsylvania in first round
// Watch: Michigan highlights
New Jersey// Round 1: California vs. New Jersey
// Watch: New Jersey legends
New York// Why NYC is best place for high school hoops
// New York advances in Round 1
// Kitts: Dan Buckley Gym a treasure
// X's and O's with Jack Curran
// Indiana faces tough test in New York
// Watch: New York legends
North Carolina// North Carolina legends / Highlights
// From Worthy to today, North Carolina produces hoops prodigies
Pennsylvania// Philly gives Pennsylvania hoops its clout
// Michigan meets Pennsylvania in first round
Texas// Texas legends / Highlights
// Texas stakes its claim as basketball state
Virginia// Virginia legends / AI's two-sport beginnings
// Rapoport: Virginia is for ballers
BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|1||Oak Hill Academy|
Mouth of Wilson, VA
Jersey City, NJ
Flower Mound, TX
|See the full boys' basketball rankings »|