# 1 Lawrence Vikings Record: 22-0 (16-0)Why they’ll win: The Vikings come into the semifinals winning 18 straight home games. Obviously, any team will have trouble coming into Alexander Gym and beating the home team. Not to mention that they are No. 1 in all of Division III and undefeated. Why they’ll lose: The whole season, they were looking in the rearview mirror at Carroll. Any slip, and they could have lost the conference lead. A complacent Lawrence squad may show up this weekend and lose to a pumped-up opponent.
# 2 Carroll Pioneers Record: 20-3 (14-2)
Why they’ll win: Carroll may be determined to upset the Vikings after losing a heartbreaker on their home court last week. Also, knocking off LU on their home court could mean a lot come tournament seeding. Why they’ll lose: The Pioneers have lost twice this season to the Vikes. Their other loss was to UW-Oshkosh, a team that the Vikings have also beaten. Their inability to win big games could haunt them yet again.
# 3 Grinnell Pioneers Record: 14-8 (10-6)
Why they’ll win: Anything can happen in Coach Dave Arseneault’s System. If their shooters get hot, they can definitely upend System-savvy Carroll and Lawrence teams. Why they’ll lose: Both Carroll and Lawrence know how to beat The System. Earlier this year, Lawrence held Grinnell to their lowest point total since before the 2000-01 season.
# 4 Knox Prairie Fire Record: 12-11 (9-7)
Why they’ll win: The Prairie Fire have shown the capability to play with good teams. Back in December, they actually led Lawrence 32-28 at halftime. If junior Jason Maclin has an explosive game, they could be the surprise of the tournament. Why they’ll lose: Knox backed into the tournament, losing four of their past seven conference games. They will need a great performance Friday night just to make the championship game.