Here are some early thoughts from the CIAC state tournamwnt pairings released today:
Hillhouse is the top seed in Class LL and, along with Windsor, received a bye into next Wednesday's second round. Hillhouse will host the winner of Greenwich and Danbury played Monday in Greenwich. A quarterfinal matchup looms against either Crosby or Hartford Public if seeds hold to form.
Of the eight area teams in the division, two from the Southern Connecticut Conference will face off on Monday: No. 23 Wilbur Cross at No. 10 Notre Dame-West Haven. These two teams faced one another in the Class LL opening round two years ago, won by Cross. If Notre Dame wins, it could set up a rematch with Holy Cross in the second round Wednesday in Waterbury. Notre Dame won a dramatic second-round game at home last year.
SCC tournament finalist Hamden drew the No. 11 seed, followed by Xavier (No. 12), St. Joseph (No. 15), West Haven (No. 20) and Cheshire (No. 29).
Stratford, last year's Class M champion, is the No. 2 seed here after a 20-0 regular season. But the Red Devils lost in the opening round of the South-West Conference tournament. They could face No. 18 Harding in the second round.
In all, 35 teams qualified, so there will be playdown games on Friday night, including No. 30 East Haven hosting No. 35 Wethersfield.
Lyman Hall, last year's Class L finalist, is the No. 6 seed and could draw No. 11 Career in the second round. Notre Dame-Fairfield faces No. 23 North Haven in the first round. Notre Dame has lost opening-round games each of the last two years to SCC teams East Haven and Hand, respectively.
Speaking of Hand, the Tigers are a dangerous team at No. 14 and could get No. 3 New London in the second round.
Sheehan is one of just two area teams in Class M. The Titans, seeded seventh, will receive a bye into the second round and host No. 10 Immaculate. If the Titans prevail, they will likely get No. 2 Bloomfield in the quarterfinals.
Ansonia was a Class S semifinalist last season, but is the bottom seed here at No. 24 and will travel to Winsted Monday night to face No. 9 Northwestern.
Eleven Shoreline Conference teams qualified, including No. 2 Cromwell and No. 5 Hyde, so the schools could not meet for a fourth time again until the finals. The two schools will play for the Shoreline Conference championship on Friday night after splitting during the regular season.
Hyde, the No. 5 seed, opens against Shoreline foe Old Lyme and could face Valley Regional in the second round and Capital Prep in the quarterfinals. Undefeated Terryville is the top seed in this division.