Blogs >'s Boys Hoops Run to the Sun

Follow all the coverage of boys high school basketball throughout the state on their way to Mohegan Sun Arena, the site of this year's championship weekend, March 15-16.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

State tournament outlook

The CIAC state tournament pairings were released today. Let's break down what the brackets look like in each of the four divisions.

Class LL
With 28 teams having qualified, the top four seeds, Windsor, St. Joseph, Hartford Public and Holy Cross, received byes into the second round next Wednesday. There are eight teams from the Southern Connecticut Conference in the field, two of which are playing one another next Monday night.

No. 23 Notre Dame-West Haven travels to New Haven to take on No. 10 Wilbur Cross, which now takes on a whole new dimension if Cross' top player, Gerald McClease cannot play. McClease injured his knee in the final minute of the SCC tournament semifinal on Tuesday night. These two teams squared off in the same round two years ago in West Haven, won by Notre Dame.
No. 6 Hillhouse hosts No. 27 Harding while No. 17 Xavier, No. 20 Cheshire, No. 21 Amity and No. 25 Hamden must all win road games in order to advance. Bridgeport Central, the defending champion, failed to qualify.

Class L
The only two undefeated teams are the top three teams in this division: Maloney and New London. Northwest Catholic also went 20-0, but lost 90-65 in the CCC Tournament semifinals Tuesday night. Twenty-eight teams also qualified here, meaning those three teams, along with No. 4 Lyman Hall, do not play until the second round next Thursday.

Defending champion Stratford is the sixth seed and will host No. 27 East Catholic. If seeding holds to form, Stratford could face New London in the quarterfinals next Monday - a rematch of last year's final.

No. 20 Branford plays at No. 13 Cheney Tech in the opening round. A win puts the Hornets on the road again Thursday against Lyman Hall. No. 22 Hand and No. 26 Sheehan, last year's Class M winner, face a pair of South-West Conference teams, No. 11 Masuk and No. 7 Pomperaug, respctively in the first round Tuesday.

Class M
Career is the top seed but will not get a bye because 34 teams have qualified. The Panthers will face the winner of Tolland and Barlow next Monday. Career could face No. 16 Foran in the second round and No. 8 Hyde in the quarterfinals if seeding holds to form.

No. 21 Ansonia plays at No. 21 Northwestern in the opening round next Monday.

Class S
Valley Regional is the top seed and will receive a bye into the second round on March 10. Potential opponents include Prince Tech (second round), Kolbe Cathedral (quarterfinals) and St. Paul (semifinals) if seeding holds to form.

No. 12 Coginchaug will host No. 21 Coventry while No. 19 Westbrook will play at No. 14 Somers in the opening round next Tuesday. Amistad Academy, in just its second year as a varsity program, finished 6-6 and earned the No. 23 seed and will open play at No. 10 Goodwin Tech.


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