Girls Basketball Finals Returning to Breslin

September 30, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals weekend could return to the Breslin Student Events Center as quickly as this upcoming 2019-20 season, with Michigan State University hosting the event this winter and in future seasons when the Spartans women’s basketball team is not selected as an opening-round host for the NCAA Tournament.

Breslin hosted the Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals from 2004-06 and 2010-17. However, the potential for a conflict with the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament led to the MHSAA moving the event for the past two seasons. The NCAA awards top-four seeded teams an opportunity to host the first two rounds of its Division I tournament, and the NCAA event falls almost annually on the traditional dates of the MHSAA girls basketball championship weekend – setting up the possible conflict of both events being scheduled to play at Breslin at the same time.

During an initial three-year contract beginning this winter, Breslin tentatively will be the host of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals. If, beginning in 2021, the Spartans are seeded fourth or higher for the NCAA Tournament and selected to host first and second rounds, the MHSAA Girls Semifinals and Finals will be played at Read Fieldhouse’s University Arena on the campus of Western Michigan University. Hope College’s DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland will serve as the alternative site if Breslin is not available in 2020, as Read is hosting the Mid-American Conference Gymnastics Championships during the weekend of the MHSAA Girls Semifinals and Finals. 

“We are thankful for the graciousness of all parties involved to allow for this opportunity to bring the Girls Basketball Semifinals and Finals back to the Breslin Center,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “From the Breslin Center staff, to coach Suzy Merchant and the MSU women’s basketball program, to MSU law enforcement, ticketing and hospitality and then Western Michigan and Hope College and their facilities people for agreeing to reserve their arenas for us in case it’s needed – this agreement happens only because of the immense cooperation by everyone involved.”

The MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals will be played this upcoming season March 19-20, 2020, with all four championship games March 21. The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament’s opening weekend is March 20-23, with the bracket and seeds to be announced Monday, March 16.

The MHSAA Boys Basketball Semifinals and Finals traditionally are played at the Breslin Center the following weekend, this upcoming season March 26-28. All games for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are played at neutral sites, and there is no possible conflict between the two events.

Read Fieldhouse, home to Broncos teams including the women’s and men’s basketball programs, unveiled a new basketball court at the start of the 2015-16 season among a variety of improvements to the facility over the last five years. The MHSAA Girls Basketball Finals were played at Read from 1983-85, and WMU also hosted the MHSAA Girls Volleyball Finals from 1996 through the 2007 winter season, the last before the MHSAA season for the sport moved to the fall.

DeVos Fieldhouse, the 2020 provisional site, is home to Hope’s hoops teams among other athletic programs and previously hosted the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Final Four.

94 Schools Raise Trophies as Part of 2023-24 MHSAA Parade of Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 19, 2024

A total of 94 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during the 2023-24 school sports year, with three teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.

Southfield Arts & Technology celebrated its first MHSAA Finals team championship during the fall, winning the 11-player Division 1 football title. Evart and Watervliet closed this spring by celebrating their first Finals victories, Evart as champion in Division 3 softball and Watervliet as champion in Division 4 baseball.

A total of 25 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by Marquette’s six won in girls and boys cross country, girls and boys swimming & diving, boys golf and boys track & field. Detroit Catholic Central was next with four Finals championships, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Jackson Lumen Christi all won three. Winning two titles in 2023-24 were Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bark River-Harris, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Kearsley, Fowler, Grand Rapids Christian, Hancock, Hudson, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Northville, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Rochester Adams, Traverse City Christian and Traverse City St. Francis.

A total of 24 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 47 champions were repeat winners from 2022-23. A total of 22 teams won championships for at least the third-straight season, while 11 teams extended title streaks to at least four consecutive seasons. The Lowell wrestling program owns the longest title streak at 11 seasons. 

Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 team championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine title winners in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.

For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2023-24, click here (PDF).

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.