CIAC TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS: 5 PLAYERS | STORYLINES | TOP 10 | SCHEDULE / SCOREBOARD
We’ve gotten the crystal ball out of storage, dusted it off, and used it to make our forecasts for the postseason brackets. Let’s see what we came up with.
Overview: This field, as usual, is stacked. Sacred Heart is the top seed, Norwich Free Academy, one of two remaining unbeatens, is the No. 2 seed and East Catholic, the defending champion is the No. 3 seed.
Hillhouse and Windsor, a game that was decided in overtime between the two, are the seventh and eighth seeds, respectively. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 all season long. Both are also the last two teams to receive a first-round bye in this division.
The second-round games are back to home sites after going neutral last year. Finding sites for some of these quarterfinals might be hard because the demand could be strong, especially for Sacred Heart vs. Windsor if seeding holds to form.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: Some of the second-round matchups were very tempting, but stayed with the higher seed for all of them. None.
Final four: No. 8 Windsor, No. 4 Notre Dame-West Haven, No. 2 NFA and No. 3 East Catholic
Champion: It’s a rematch of last year’s final with the same result: East Catholic over Windsor.
Overview: There is a lot of name value and tournament pedigree in this field.
Prince Tech had its toughest game the last time out, having to survive Goodwin Tech to win the CTC championship. The Falcons are the top seed, The NVL champion, Naugatuck, is seeded second while Innovation, last year’s Division V state champion, is seeded third and Bristol Central is fourth, respectively.
Holy Cross, which handed Sacred Heart its first NVL defeat since 2014, is the fifth seed. Farmington, last season’s Division III champion, is seeded sixth. This field is very, very formidable.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 18 Weaver over No. 15 WCA in the first round. A couple more in the second round: No. 14 Newtown over No. 3 Innovation and No. 10 Staples over No. 7 Middletown.
Final four: No. 1 Prince Tech, No. 4 Bristol Central, No. 2 Naugatuck and No. 6 Farmington
Champion: Naugatuck wins its first state championship since 1942, topping Bristol Central.
Overview: Tolland had a fine regular season in the CCC, but was upended in the opening round of the CCC tournament. Tolland gets another chance to make a tournament run as the top seed.
Northwest Catholic, which dealt Windsor its only in-state loss in the CCC tournament semifinals last week, is seeded second, followed by Capital Prep at No 3 and Fairfield Ludlowe at No. 4.
New Canaan, last year’s Division IV state champion, is seeded 13th here.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 12 Avon over No. 5 Wamogo in the second round.
Final four: No. 9 Sheehan, No. 4 Fairfield Ludlowe, No. 2 Northwest Catholic and No. 6 Shelton.
Champion: Northwest Catholic over Fairfield Ludlowe.
Overview: Canton won its first NCCC championship on Friday. Now, Canton tries to win its first state championship since 1978 as the top seed here.
Ansonia, sitting at No. 16, could be a dangerous second-round opponent. Goodwin Tech, which gave Prince Tech quite the scare in the CTC tournament final, is the No. 9 seed. In the bottom half of the bracket, SMSA and Fitch are seeded second and third, respectively.
Granby, which reached the final here last year, returns as the 10th seed.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 20 Lyman Memorial over No. 13 Killingly, No. 21 Cromwell over No. 12 Abbott Tech, No. 26 Bulkeley over No. 7 Nonnewaug, No. 19 Weston over No. 14 Masuk and No. 22 Foran over No. 11 Suffield in the first round.
Final four: No. 1 Canton, No. 4 Barlow, No. 10 Granby and No. 3 Fitch.
Champion: Fitch defeats Canton.
Overview: Old Lyme was able to avenge a loss in last year’s Shoreline Conference tournament final by winning it this year and also going unbeaten in the league. Now, can the Wildcats do the same in Division V?
Old Lyme reached the final here before falling to Innovation. Now Old Lyme is the top seed and will be looking to make a return trip to the Mohegan Sun Arena. Either No. 8 Montville or No. 9 Morgan, which Old Lyme defeated in the Shoreline final, could await in the quarterfinals. Somers is the No. 4 seed.
In the bottom portion of the bracket, Bullard-Havens is seeded second, followed by Valley Regional at No. 3.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 18 O’Brien Tech over No. 15 Wheeler in the first round. No. 11 Hale-Ray over No. 6 Achievement First and No. 10 Terryville over No. 7 Shepaug Valley in the second round.
Final four: No. 1 Old Lyme, No. 4 Somers, No. 10 Terryville and No. 3 Valley Regional.
Champion: Old Lyme gets it done, beating Valley Regional in an All-Shoreline Conference final.