DEFENDING CHAMPION Rogers
TITLE FAVORITE Rogers
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Little Rock Catholic, Springdale Har-Ber, Cabot
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE Cabot vs. Bentonville West
NOTEWORTHY Eleven of the 12 teams in the field had winning records, with Fort Smith Northside being the exception. ... Three of the first-round contests are rematches from earlier games. Bryant and Rogers Heritage is the only one that pits teams that hadn't played one another this season. ... Catholic has won nine of its past 10 games. ... Defending champion Rogers has lost to only two teams from Arkansas (Van Buren, Rogers Heritage). ... Har-Ber has reached at least the semifinal round six years in a row.
WHERE Hot Springs
DEFENDING CHAMPION Van Buren
TITLE FAVORITE Van Buren
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Jonesboro, Marion, Greenbrier
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE Sheridan vs. Greene County Tech
NOTEWORTHY Jonesboro and Marion shared the 5A-East title while El Dorado, Sheridan and Lake Hamilton each got a piece of the 5A-South. ... There's a chance that last year's finalists, Van Buren and Jonesboro, could meet in the second round Friday. ... Greenbrier may be the hottest team in the tournament, having won 12 of its last 13. ... Benton won its first 14 games but finished 7-8 over its final 15. ... Greenwood and Russellville tied for the No. 4 spot with 7-7 marks in the 5A-West, but the Cyclones won the tiebreaker.
DEFENDING CHAMPION Valley View
TITLE FAVORITE Valley View, Lonoke
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Arkadelphia, Pulaski Academy, Huntsville
SLEEPER Joe T. Robinson
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE Monticello vs. Joe T. Robinson
NOTEWORTHY Defending champ Valley View has lost to only one team from Class 4A – Lonoke – and that occurred during last week's 4A East regional in Brookland. ... Huntsville reeled off 17 consecutive wins during the middle half of the season. The Eagles then won all three games last week to sweep the 4A North region. ... Magnolia, last year's runner-up, failed to reach the state tournament. ... Arkadelphia is on an 11-game winning streak and hasn't been beaten by a team from its classification this season.
DEFENDING CHAMPION Harding Academy
TITLE FAVORITE Harding Academy
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Ashdown, Paris, Manila
SLEEPER Rose Bud
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE Paris vs. Rose Bud
NOTEWORTHY Ashdown dropped its final two games of the regular season by a combined 21 runs, but the Panthers won the 3A Region 4 tournament by outscoring Drew Central, Prescott and Genoa Central by 22 runs. ... Harding Academy, which has reeled off 22 consecutive wins, hasn't been defeated since losing 5-4 to Valley View on March 17. ... Episcopal Collegiate (9-13) finished third in its conference but won four straight games, including its region opener, to clinch a tournament berth. ... Rose Bud freshman Russ Martin struck out 11 in the Ramblers' win over 2021 runner-up Walnut Ridge in the first round of regionals. ... Three of Genoa Central's seven losses were to Ashdown.
WHERE South Side Bee Branch/Greenbrier
DEFENDING CHAMPION Woodlawn
TITLE FAVORITE Woodlawn, McCrory
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Dierks, Murfreesboro, Mansfield
SLEEPER South Side Bee Branch
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE South Side Bee Branch vs. Horatio
NOTEWORTHY Acorn is playing in the state tournament for the first time in school history. ... Dierks has won 11 consecutive contests. ... Mansfield is riding a 16-game winning streak, with its last loss occurring on March 25 against Ozark. ... Mountainburg is playing in back-to-back state tournaments. The Dragons hadn't reached the postseason since 1994 before earning a bid last season. ... Buffalo Island Central extended its unbeaten run to 15 games after cruising through the 2A North Regional last week in Carlisle.
DEFENDING CHAMPION Viola
TITLE FAVORITE West Side Greers Ferry
OTHER KEY CONTENDERS Izard County, Ouachita, Taylor
FIRST-ROUND INTRIGUE Mount Vernon-Enola vs. Mount Ida
NOTEWORTHY There will be a new champion after Viola failed to reach the state tournament. ... Ouachita's Brady Huneycutt tossed a no-hitter in the Warriors' 12-0 win over Hermitage on May 7. ... West Side Greers Ferry is on a 13-game run that includes three victories over Izard County, which reached the title game a year ago. Incidentally, Izard County is the only team from Class 1A to beat the Eagles this season. ... Sacred Heart could face No. 1 West Side Greers Ferry in the second round for the second year in a row. ... County Line has made it to the state tournament the past nine years.