Five divisions instead of four to take the crystal ball out of the moth balls and see what we can forecast for the upcoming CIAC Boys Basketball Championships:
Overview: Fans have been looking forward to seeing this field play out all season long. Two of the three remaining unbeatens, CCC tournament champion East Catholic and SWC winner Notre Dame-Fairfield, are the top two seeds. Bassick and Sacred Heart, last year’s Class L champ, are No. 3 and 4, respectively.
SCC regular-season champ Wilbur Cross is seeded fifth, followed by the SCC tournament winner, Hamden (6) and the FCIAC tournament champ Danbury (7). And the team that has given East Catholic the most trouble, Windsor, could meet the Eagles again in the quarterfinals as the No. 8 seed.
Hillhouse, the two-time Class LL defending champion, is the No. 13 seed and opens up against nemesis Fairfield Prep.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: With the amount of first-round byes — 11 — it is looking like all the top seeds advance.
The final four: No. 1 East Catholic, No. 4 Sacred Heart, No. 7 Danbury, No. 3 Bassick.
Champion: Only a handful of teams here can win four games. East Catholic and Bassick are two of them, and East beats Bassick for the second time this season, albeit a much closer and better game.
Overview: Simsbury blew a late lead in the CCC tournament semifinals, falling to Windsor in overtime. Now the Trojans try to rebound as the top seed here. Immaculate, the SWC tournament runner-up, is at No. 2.
Those two are followed by Wethersfield, Bristol Central and Pomperaug, seeds three through five. Some dangerous lower seeds are Amity at No. 9, New London at No. 10 and Waterbury Career at No. 11.
We do have a rematch of a first-round game from the Class LL division last year: No. 18 Xavier at No. 15 Fairfield Warde, which won by one.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: If at first you don’t succeed: No. 18 Xavier wins this time, and No. 19 Career tops No. 14 Bridgeport Central. In the second round, No. 13 Wilton beats No. 4 Bristol Central, No. 12 Ledyard beats No. 5 Pomperaug, No. 10 New London gets past No. 7 New Britain and Career beats No. 3 Wethersfield.
The final four: No. 1 Simsbury, No. 12 Ledyard, No. 2 Immaculate and No. 6 Glastonbury.
Champion: Simsbury beats Immaculate.
Overview: Guilford earned a share of the SCC Hammonasset Division title, reached the SCC tournament semifinals and earned the top seed here. Waterford and East Lyme, the ECC tournament champion and finalist, are the No. 2 and 4 seeds, respectively.
Prince Tech is the No. 3 seed and Enfield is in at No. 5. Brookfield, last year’s Class M state champion, is the No. 8 seed while North Haven is at No. 10.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 10 North Haven over No. 7 Southington in the second round.
The final four: No. 1 Guilford, No. 4 East Lyme, No. 2 Waterford,. No. 3 Prince Tech.
Champion: Prince Tech beats East Lyme for the second time this season.
Overview: Northwestern got off to a strong start but struggled down the stretch some and lost in the Berkshire League final to Wamogo. Still Northwestern earned the top seed here, followed by St. Bernard, the ECC Division II champion, at No. 2.
Many will have their eye on Kolbe Cathedral, the No. 5 seed, which turned its fortune around after going 1-19 a year ago.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 24 Law over No. 9 Classical Magnet, No. 26 Rocky Hill over. No. 7 PlaInfield in the first round. No. 16 Seymour over No. 1 Northwestern in the second round.
The final four: No. 16 Seymour, No. 5 Kolbe Cathedral, No. 2 St. Bernard and No. 6 SMSA.
Champion: Kolbe wins, beating St. Bernard.
Overview: Shoreline Conference champion East Hampton is the other remaining undefeated team and the top seed in this bracket. Berkshire League winner Wamogo is the No. 4 seed.
Canton and Cromwell, the Shoreline finalist, are the top two seeds in the bottom half of the bracket. Two other Shoreline teams, No. 5 Old Lyme and No. 7 North Branford, received byes into Wednesday’s second round.
Seeded upsets on the horizon?: No. 20 Derby over No. 13 East Windsor, No. 18 Lyman Memorial over No. 15 Somers and No. 22 Woodland over No. 11 Innovation in the first round. Then Woodland upends No. 6 Parish Hill in the second round.
The final four: No. 1 East Hampton, No. 4 Wamogo, No. 2 Canton, No. 3 Cromwell
Champion: East Hampton will top Canton in the final.