Things are heating up at the Xcel Energy Center, where today is Day 3 of the four-day state wrestling tournament. Today is semifinal day, with team and individual matches on tap as we set the lineups for Saturday's finals.
All team quarterfinal matches will begin at noon. No. 1 Apple Valley is a dominant favorite to beat unseeded Eden Prairie in Class 3A, but the other 3A match should be competitive between No. 2 seed St. Michael-Albertville and No. 3 Owatonna.
In 2A, it's No. 3 Foley vs. No. 3 Kasson-Mantorville and No. 1 Simley vs. unseeded Milaca.
And in 1A we'll see No. 2 Frazee vs. No. 3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa and No. 1 Minneota vs. No. 4 Jackson County Central.
Individual semifinals kick off with 2A at 4 p.m., 3A at 5 p.m. and 1A at 6 p.m. Here's some of what we'll be watching in those matches...
--Can three Lexvold brothers from Kenyon-Wanamingo all reach the title round in 1A?
--Apple Valley has 11 individuals in the semifinals; how many Eagles will advance to the finals?
--How many of Simley's eight semifinals will win?
--Will Clint Poster of Pierz and Garrett Garness of Kasson-Mantorville return to championship territory? Both won state championships in 2007 and fell short the last two years.
--A great matchup in 2A at 112 pounds, with top-ranked and defending champ Jacoby Bergeron of Thief River Falls facing second-ranked Cody Paulsen of Totino-Grace.
Blow the whistle!