The CIAC boys basketball state tournaments tip off Monday and seven local teams earned the opportunity to compete for a state championship.
This will be the first complete state tournament since 2019 after the 2020 tournament was canceled after one day of games and there was no tournament in 2021. The first, second rounds of the tournaments will be played from March 7-10, with teams from Divisions II and IV that reach the quarterfinals playing a third game that week March 11.
Bristol Central (23-0) and Terryville each (21-1) earned the No. 1 overall seeds in their tournaments and have byes through the first round. Both teams were top-10 seeds in their 2020 tournaments and will look to make up for missed opportunities.
Central will face the winner of No. 16 Amistad (13-7) and No. 17 Amity (13-8) on March 9 in the second round of the Division II Tournament. Senior UConn-commit Donovan Clingan has the Rams on a 38-game winning streak over the past two seasons and they will face their biggest test of the season Thursday when they play Northwest Catholic, the second-seeded team in Division II in the CCC Championship Game.
Terryville will start its tournament run in Division V against the winner between 16th-seeded Portland (12-10) and 17th-seeded Coventry (10-11) on March 10. The Kangaroos actually won a state-tournament game in 2020 before its cancellation, but look to go much further than that this time as they are currently on a 17-game win streak.
New Britain (9-11) enters the Division I Tournament as the 18th-seeded team and will travel to No. 15 Danbury (12-9) for the first round March 8. The winner will hit the road to face No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven in the second round March 10.
The Hurricanes reached the state championship game of the 2019 tournament, but fell 63-56 against Waterford for the Division II title.
Newington (11-10) will also start on the road for their run in Division II as the 21st seed against No. 12 St. Joseph (14-7) on March 7. A win pits them against No. 5 Holy Cross (16-5) in the second round March 9.
Berlin (15-6) and St. Paul (14-7) have a chance to meet in the second round as the eighth and ninth seeds in Division III. The eighth-seeded Redcoats will host No. 25 E.O. Smith (8-12) on March 8 and will look to beat the Panthers for the second time this year after beating them 71-61 on Feb. 18.
The ninth-seeded Falcons will welcome No. 24 Norwalk (8-12) to Bristol on March 8 with the hope of consecutive first-round wins in the state tournament. St. Paul bested Maloney 64-61 in an emotional first-round contest in the 2020 tournament the day before it was canceled, and celebrated the win by dumping their water cooler on head coach Steve Phelps.
Goodwin Tech (9-11) will start its run in the Division V Tournament against No. 11 Northwestern (15-7) on March 8. The 22nd-seeded Gladiators will be playing in their first game in two weeks as they look to reach the second round to face the winner of No. 6 Capital Prep (15-6) and No. 27 Westbrook (8-12).