Breaking down the CIAC High School Boys Basketball tournament brackets

The CIAC unveiled its boys basketball tournament brackets Wednesday afternoon. Local teams East Catholic (Division I), Cromwell (IV) and Windsor Locks (V) were all champions last year and all could make another run to the finals, held at Mohegan Sun Arena March 16-17.

Here’s a quick look at each division and some of the local teams involved:

Division I: Three-time defending Division I champion East Catholic is the fifth seed and will not have an easy first game. The Eagles, who will play for the CCC tournament championship against Windsor Thursday, will face 12th-seeded Staples in a second-round game March 7. Staples (17-5) was the fourth seed in the FCIAC tournament and beat No. 1 Ridgefield 73-57 in the semifinal. The Wreckers will play Trumbull for the conference tournament title Thursday.

Division II: Manchester has come a long way since last season when the Red Hawks were the 26th seed in Division II and lost in the first round to Staples. Manchester is the No. 1 seed and will play the winner of Hamden-RHAM on Wednesday in the second round. Manchester lost to Farmington, 68-61 in the CCC tournament quarterfinals. Windsor, which lost in the Division II quarterfinals last year to eventual champion St. Bernard, is the No. 2 seed. St. Bernard has moved up to Division I.

Conard is the No. 7 seed and could potentially face Windsor in the quarterfinal. Windsor defeated Conard in the first game of the season, 52-49. Both have had good conference tournament runs so far. Conard lost to East Catholic 67-50 in the CCC quarterfinals after winning 11 straight. Windsor is in the CCC championship game and is the only in-state team to beat East Catholic this season.

Division III: SMSA (18-3) is the top seed. The Tigers, also the top seed in the NCCC tournament, were slated to play Ellington – one of the teams SMSA lost to during the regular season – in the semifinals Wednesday. SMSA will play the winner of Torrington-St. Joseph in a second-round game March 7. Lewis Mills, which lost in the first round of the CCC tournament to Conard, 48-46, is the No. 2 seed.

Division IV: Morgan is the No. 1 with Shoreline foe Cromwell, the defending Division IV champion, No. 2. The two teams split during the season, with Morgan beating Cromwell 52-49 in the first game and losing 58-53 on Jan. 31. Cromwell has won 20 straight since losing its first two games. The two could get a preview of the Division IV championship game Friday night when they face each other in the Shoreline Conference tournament final in Madison.

Division V: Windsor Locks, which won its first state championship since 2001 last year, is the No. 2 seed and will open second-round play against the winner of Litchfield-Kaynor Tech March 7. Somers, the sixth seed, beat Windsor Locks 64-52 in the NCCC tournament quarterfinals.