State tournament projections came bubbling up after Neuqua Valley's 39-point win at Downers Grove South on Saturday, but overlooked in that was how the Wildcats now can win the Upstate Eight Conference outright. They can thank South Elgin, which on Friday handed St. Charles North its second conference loss.
Neuqua (26-1, 8-1) can clinch it outright with a victory Friday against visiting Larkin (6-18). That means a team that hasn't lost a game since December against a team that hasn't won a game since that very same month. Last season Neuqua earned the title with a win on Larkin's floor in the regular-season finale.