Followers of girls basketball started speculating about it last spring when Baltimore City schools joined the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
Western vs. Old Mill for the Class 4A state championship.
No. 1 vs. No. 2.
The City-Wide League champion vs. the two-time defending state champion.
And now, the anticipated meeting between the two teams may be just two days away.
But before Western coach Breezy Bishop can think about the Patriots, her team has to defeat Oxon Hill (No. 17 in The Washington Post) in today's semifinal. Old Mill faces Springbrook in today's other semifinal.
"I insist that my players take one game at a time," Bishop said. "They know we won't meet Old Mill unless we do well against Oxon Hill. If we are fortunate enough to get to that point, it will be a great game."
Despite Bishop's insistence that her players not look ahead, she acknowledged that they are conscious of the impending meeting with the Patriots.
"They are aware of each other," Bishop said. "Most of my kids have played against the Old Mill kids in summer leagues. My kids are friends with some of them and they have gone out of town together on AAU teams."
Sophomore guard/forward Chanel Wright (18 ppg) is the Doves' catalyst on offense, and 6-foot senior forward Kelly Evans has scored 55 points in her past three games.
Old Mill's attack is led by senior Anne Chicorelli (11.7 ppg).
Western sophomore guard Kimberly Smith is doubtful for today's game, Bishop said.
Smith, the Doves' assists leader (6.5 per game) and second-leading scorer (15.0 ppg), sprained a ligament in her right foot during a scrimmage two weeks ago.
After losing to Randallstown twice during the regular season, Lansdowne upset the Rams, 49-41, in the Class 3A, Region II final on Saturday.
Lansdowne coach Ron Bareford hopes to continue the trend of winning on the third try when the Vikings -- making their third appearance in the Class 3A state semifinals -- meet Bladensburg tonight.
In their two previous trips to the state semifinals in 1988 and 1989, the Vikings were eliminated in their first game.
Bareford thinks it could be different this time, but he also realizes that the 20th-ranked Vikings are facing a formidable opponent. Bladensburg (23-1) is ranked eighth by The Washington Post.
"It seems like we're peaking," Bareford said. "From what I understand about Bladensburg, we better be."
Pam Wright, Milford Mill's first-year coach, can identify with her players' playoff frustration.
The 19th-ranked Millers, who will meet Easton in a Class 1A state semifinal tomorrow night, are making their first appearance in the state semifinals after losing to Brunswick in the Region II final the past two seasons.
During her tenure as Woodlawn's head coach from 1981 to 1987, Wright also never had taken a team past the region final.
"I've shed a lot of tears of sorrow, and now I'm finally shedding some tears of joy," Wright said.