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Breaking down the CIAC Boys’ Basketball Tournament brackets

The brackets for the CIAC boys basketball tournament were announced Wednesday and East Catholic, last year’s Division I champion and Northwest Catholic, last year’s Division II runner-up, are the top two seeds in the Division I tournament.

East Catholic, which defeated Platt 90-44 in the CCC tournament semifinal, will play in the CCC tournament championship game Thursday against Bloomfield, the top seed in the Division III tournament.

Bloomfield won the Division IV championship last year and will compete in Division III this year.

Here’s a quick look at the divisions:

Division I

East Catholic came in last year as the eighth seed with a 15-5 regular season record. The Eagles beat Wilbur Cross, who had knocked off No. 1 Naugatuck in the first round, en route to the title game, where they defeated No. 2 seed Notre Dame-West Haven, 50-49, to take home the title. East Catholic, who lost Samson Reilly to a foot injury last Feb. 14, are in a much better place this season and should be the favorites to win again. The Eagles beat No. 2 seed Northwest Catholic 70-49 on Feb. 14 and their only loss came to St. Augustine (Calif.) 67-57 on Jan. 14 at the Hoop Hall Classic. Northwest Catholic will look to avenge a loss to No. 15 seed Bristol Central, in a rematch of the Division II championship game in the second round March 8.

Division II

Windsor, which lost its last three of its last four games after losing junior Anthony Williams to a broken leg, is the No. 8 seed and will host Brien McMahon Tuesday in a first round game. If Windsor wins and if No. 9 Glastonbury gets by Trumbull in the first round, the two CCC teams could face each other for the first time this season in the second round. SMSA, last year’s Division V runner-up, is the 11th seed and will host Stamford on Tuesday in a first round game. Conard, the 18th seed, will play No. 15 Farmington in a first round game Tuesday. The Red Wolves, who knocked off Northwest Catholic in the first round of the CCC tournament before losing to Bloomfield in the semifinals, lost to Farmington 51-45 on Feb. 6.

Division III

Bloomfield, last year’s Division IV champion, is the top seed and the Warhawks have been through a lot this year after losing their coach Kevin Moses to colon cancer in September. Brooks Sales has taken over and has the Warhawks in the CCC finals. Bloomfield will open the tournament March 8 against the winner of Capital Prep and Masuk.

Division IV
Like last year, Cromwell is the No. 1 seed in Division IV but the Panthers lost in the semifinal last year 59-48 to Granby. Cromwell (19-2 before Wednesday’s Shoreline Conference semifinal game) will host the winner of Weston and North Haven in the second round of the tournament March 9.

Last year’s Division V champion Windham is the ninth seed in IV and will face New Fairfield Tuesday in a first round game. Windham won its first state title in boys basketball in 81 years last year, with a 62-56 victory over SMSA.

Look for Canton to make some noise as the 15th seed. The Warriors played a tough non-conference schedule and wound up with a 12-8 regular season record. They will play Somers, whom they beat 52-41 on Jan. 6, on Tuesday in a first-round game and if they get past Somers, they will face No. 2 seed Wamogo, to whom they lost 57-45 on Dec. 28.

Division V

Windsor Locks is the top seed in Division V. Last year as the 20th seed, the Raiders defeated East Hampton, Hale Ray and Suffield to advance to the Division V semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion Windham. Windsor Locks will face the winner of Coginchaug and Gilbert in the second round on March 8.