Two seasons ago, No. 2 Norwalk traveled to No. 1 New London and knocked off the top team in the state 49-47.
Last January, No. 1 Notre Dame-Fairfield went on the road to No. 2 Newtown and won 56-53.
This season, it is unlikely we will see No. 1 and No. 2 faceoff with Notre Dame holding the top spot in the poll and, because of COVID-19 restrictions, not scheduled to face any teams from outside the SWC.
Notre Dame was the only SWC team to appear in the GameTimeCT Preseason Top 10 Poll.
Newtown fell just outside the top 10 and while the Nighthawks could make an appearance in the poll, climbing all the way up to No. 2 may not be likely before the two teams meet March 1 in Fairfield.
The lack of 1 vs 2 is one thing, but with no conference crossover games and no December tournaments, any match-ups between ranked teams will be hard to find in girls basketball this winter.
There was one to start the season with No. 8 Ridgefield going to No. 2 Trumbull on opening night and coming away with a 47-40 win.
“You play the cards you are dealt,” Ridgefield coach Rob Coloney said. “We have some really tough games coming up. Next week we have Stamford and Danbury and those games are really tough.”
Ridgefield at No. 7 Danbury next Thursday will be the second top-10 match-up of the season. Danbury will not begin its season until Tuesday when it faces a Ludlowe team that just missed the top 10 but plays Trumbull tonight.
Let’s take a look through the rest of the top 10 and see where potential showdowns between ranked teams might take place.
- Notre Dame-Fairfield: Three teams from the SWC received votes in the poll, Notre Dame, Newtown and Pomperaug, which Notre Dame beat 65-46 on opening night. The Lancers game against Newtown March 1 will likely be their only chance to face a ranked opponent.
- Trumbull: The FCIAC might present more opportunities for ranked games, but the next time Trumbull is scheduled for another one is the last game of the regular season against No. 7 Danbury.
- NFA: Now we are talking! No. 3 NFA takes on No. 5 New London tonight in the season opener. On March 5, NFA is scheduled to face No. 6 Bacon Academy and then NFA gets to face New London again on the final day of the regular season.
- Newington: The CCC is so big that though they may have multiple ranked teams, getting them together is harder. The only real shot Newington has at facing a ranked team would be if Middletown (which received 9 votes in the first poll) gets hot and jumps into the top 10 prior to playing Newington March 2.
- New London: As discussed above, the Whalers play NFA twice. They face Bacon March 9.
- Bacon Academy: The top 3 in the ECC will get the tests of facing each other. Bacon has the unenviable task of playing NFA and New London in back-to-back games in March.
- Danbury: The Hatters are getting started a week later than the rest of the FCIAC. They get Ludlowe Tuesday and Ridgefield Thursday and may not see another ranked a opponent until the last two games of the season when they face Stamford and Trumbull.
- Ridgefield: The Tigers took care of Trumbull, get Danbury next week and may not see a ranked opponent the rest of the way.
- E.O. Smith: Smith lost to East Hartford on opening night and will likely get bounced from the top 10 as a result. No matter, the chance of them facing another ranked team the rest of the way seems unlikely, unless Glastonbury keeps winning and joins the top 10.
- Sheehan: Sheehan was the only ranked team from the SCC. Hand (122 preseason points in poll) on Feb. 26 looks like the only potential for another top 10 team.