DECATUR — March may still be a few days away, but the madness is already here for area basketball teams.
Here's a look at the basketball postseason entering the final week of February:
City Rivalry III
MacArthur and Eisenhower will open postseason play against each other, with the Generals having won both regular season matchups.
The two teams will play at the Class 3A Rantoul Regional at 7 p.m. on Monday.
After MacArthur (16-13) controlled the first meeting — 84-73 on Jan. 12 — against Eisenhower (9-20), the teams played a back-and-forth game on Feb. 19, with the Generals winning 80-78.
The winner will face Mattoon at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals.
Also in Class 3A, Apollo Conference rivals Lincoln and Taylorville may be headed for a regional final matchup in Clinton, and Effingham is a dark horse at the Olney Regional.
A win away
For the second straight year, the Effingham girls basketball team is a game away from state.
The Hearts will face Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at the Springfield (UIS) Super-sectional at 7 p.m. Monday. SHG beat Charleston, which handed Effingham (27-6) three of its six losses this season, in the sectional semifinals.
If Effingham wins, it'll be the first Herald & Review-area girls team to make state in Class 3A since Olney in 2001-02.
Last year, Central A&M beat Nokomis for its first sectional title since 2007. The teams appear headed for a second straight sectional final meeting at the Class 1A Altamont Sectional.
Nokomis (27-6) will face St. Elmo/Brownstown — a team Nokomis beat by 16 on Dec. 20 — at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
A&M (29-3), which has won 18 straight heading into the sectional, will face Odin (17-14) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Altamont Sectional.
Gotta be the Shoes?
If Teutopolis is going to win its sixth sectional title since 2011 and make state for the first time since 2007, it'll have to beat some familiar opponents at the Class 2A Vandalia Sectional.
The Wooden Shoes (27-5) played their opponent Wednesday, Mount Carmel, to open the season and won 59-30.
Unless Pana (17-17) can pull off another upset at 7 p.m. on Tuesday — the Panthers pulled off three to win the Shelbyville Regional — the Shoes will Fairfield in Friday's sectional final. Fairfield beat T-Town 74-64 on Nov. 24.
Also competing in Class 2A, Tuscola will play Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Tolono Sectional.