While the Connecticut Post is busy running its all-star teams (finishing with basketball on Sunday), our crack-staff has been busy at work on our spring previews. Over by the entertainment section, Mike Cardillo is diligently scraping together the softball outlook, fielding calls from dozens of local coaches and click-clacking away on his fantasy bas… oops, his softball capsules. He’s the hardest-working man in showbiz, folks. But deadline is fast approaching for Big Mike. So don’t get too close, he bites.
Here’s the final boys basketball media rankings released today by “Hoops” Morelli.
I’m a little perturbed at the writers for voting Trinity ahead of Bassick, which split with Trinity, but beat the Crusaders when it counted: in the FCIAC championship game.
But the voting wasn’t even close, 252-214, meaning more than half of the voters had Trinity ahead of Bassick — or, some had Trinity a few spots ahead of Bassick.
Either way, I guess they were thinking that Trinity was in the LL bracket and deserved to be ahead. But look at all the love they gave Weaver, which played in the L bracket. They went from NR to No. 2.
Also, Trinity, which lost to Bassick by 15 or so, lost badly to East Catholic, which got stomped by Hillhouse in the LL final. I think that takes some of the luster off their LL semifinal appearance.
Terrible job by the voters (this means you!)
Otherwise, I have no problems with the rest of the poll.
Top 10 MEDIA BOYS BASKETBALL poll
Compiled by New Haven Register
(First-place votes in parentheses)
Team Points Last
1. Hillhouse (27-1) (13) 390 1
2. Weaver-Hartford (22-3) 352 NR
3. Maloney (26-1) 322 2
4. East Catholic (24-3) 318 7
5. Torrington (22-4) 262 9
6. Trinity Catholic (25-2) 252 4
7. Bassick-Bridgeport (21-3) 214 6
8. Crosby-Waterbury (23-3) 204 5
9. Weston (24-4) 165 NR
10. Farmington (22-5) 144 NR
Dropped out: Norwich Free Academy (3), Kolbe Cathedral
(8), Holy Cross-Waterbury (10).
Others receiving votes: Norwich Free Academy (24-1), 136; Kolbe
Cathedral (23-2), 119; Holy Cross (21-4), 103; Harding
(20-5), 83; Wilbur Cross (20-5), 63; East Windsor (18-9), 58; Sacred
Heart (18-8), 36; E.O. Smith (21-4), 23; East
Hartford (17-7), Cromwell (18-8), 15; Waterford (20-7), 8; Central
The following voted: Bill Bloxsom, Hometown Publications; Sean
Patrick Bowley, Connecticut Post; Matt Doran, Norwalk Hour; Ned
Griffen, The Day of New London; Mark Jaffee, Waterbury
Republican-American; Ken Lipshez, New Britain Herald; Hal Levy,
Shoreline Newspapers; Joe Morelli, New Haven Register; Paul Nichols,
Middletown Press; Paul Rosano, Hartford Courant; Dave Ruden, Stamford
Advocate; Don Rully, Imprint Newspapers; John Silver, Journal
Inquirer of Manchester.
For those of you who like to compare leagues, here’s the final tally for this past weekend’s basketball championship games. Points are given based on the enrollment modifiers the CIAC attaches to teams after the season. You get 10 points for a semifinal appearance, 25 points for a championship game appearance and 50 for winning a title.
So in the end champions are actually awarded 85 cumulative points, finalists 35 cumulative points and semifinalists 10 points. We’re not going to attach values to each of the brackets. Every one is worth the same.
Here are the final standings:
1. CCC: 1 champion (Weaver), 1 runners-up (Maloney) = 120 points
T2. NCCC: 1 champion (East Windsor), 0 runners-up, 1 semifinalist (Canton) = 95 points
T2. SWC: 1 champion (Weston), 0 runners-up, 1 semifinalist (Barlow) = 95 points
4. SCC: 1 champion (Hillhouse), 0 runners-up, 0 semifinalists = 85 points
T5. NWC: 0 champions, 1 runners-up (East Catholic), 1 semifinalist (Farmington) = 45 points
T5. Shoreline: 0 champions, 1 runners-up (Cromwell), 1 semifinalist (Coginchaug) = 45 points
7. ECC: 0 champions, 1 runners-up (Waterford), 0 semifinalists = 35 points
T8. FCIAC: 0 champions, 0 runners-up, 2 semifinalists (Bassick, Trinity Catholic) = 20 points
T8. NVL: 0 champions, 0 runners-up, 2 semifinalists (Sacred Heart, Torrington) = 20 points
T10. CSC: 0 points
T10. Berkshire: 0 points
That’s all, folks!
Now that we’ve crowned our state champions, just one more thought I had while looking over the brackets.
Weston won the Class M title, but, really it is a legit Class S team. But they had to move up to M–which was kind of a no man’s land of the tournament because the teams in it were far too randomly spread across the spectrum of good, not-so-good, and great, but only Class S great teams.
The championship reflected it. Weston, a great Class S school that battled through a tough M draw, taking on a Waterford school that was good, but getting there through a watered down side of the bracket. After watching all of the fans at the East Windsor and Cromwell rabidly come out for the S game, I decided we need to protect the little guys a little more and make their tournament tremendous.
So, if we could just tweak these tournaments a little more, I’d be satisfied.
I’d like to see a lot more teams from M moved down to S (cutoff for S around 500 or 450 etc, and have just two more divisions above that to really make all of the titles worth something.
The S division could really be a tremendous tournament worth watching and celebrating a title–especially with all the support they get from their towns (see every Coginchaug game, every Litchfield game, every East Windsor game etc..) and having a true battle of small town Connecticut teams. But the CIAC really has the cutoff too low for S.
While we’re on the subject, let’s also get rid of the “Tournament history” modifier. No need for Old Saybrook etc to be in M. That was just to force the catholic schools out of S, which, for the most part, happened when you doubled their enrollments.
Trinity Catholic and Kolbe weren’t true S schools. Old Saybrook is. But they get penalized by being put into the strange M draw.
So, what do you do with the Catholics and magnets? After you divide the tournaments into three classes, take the Catholics and Magnets, divide them in half by enrollment and then slot the larger half into L and the smaller half in to the new M.
You would end up with three great tournaments, with teams grouped into similar enrollments and accounting for “schools of choice.” In the end, all three championships would be worth celebrating.
In the three tourney system, Catholics are either M or L depending on their size. That way there’s no confusion and M and L are pretty equal tournaments, where we could argue the merits of both champions for No. 1.
Class S schools could really give a you-know-what about the rankings. That title would generate tremendous interest in Norman Rockwell’s Connecticut.
So. There you go.
In the spirit of ESPN’s Sports Guy Bill Simmons (but less, less funny) we’ll do the CLASS M CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNING DIARY. Sorry, no quirky-named sidekicks chiming in and no real food. But we’ll do the best we can.
Here sitting next to good buddy and former Connecticut Post reporter Matt Doran, now the sports editor of The Hour of Norwalk. Game’s about to start in 4 minutes. Since many of you are here watching Weston (or Waterford), I’ll have observations rather than actual play-by-play. You can hear the play-by-play on sportingnewsct.com
Weston’s the home team. Not a tremendous crowd yet, but it is a long ride for both teams.
We’ve been blessed with some great quotes during this postseason.
From John Pfohl’s relentless criticism of the referees at his game (classic in and of itself), to Harrison Taylor’s “he’d better be in the hospital” to Andre Pettway, to Barlow’s Mike D’Amato, “I didn’t fall on the ground for nothing,” on the final play of the Waterford semifinal. Or Bassick assistant Bernie Lofton‘s “See you at Gampel.”
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
Jovon Holden scores 40 points, shoots close to 100 percent from the line, Bassick wins.
That, in a nutshell, is what the storyline was in tonight’s 77-60 Bassick victory over Windham. That, essentially, is what every Bassick story has been the last few weeks. …
As I drown my sorrows in coffee trying to figure out what in sam-heck happened to keep my beloved Syracuse Orangemen (yes, that’s Orangemen. I refuse to acknowledge the singular version) out of the NCAA tournament… I turn to the only tournament that matters now: The Class L and M boys basketball draws.
Third-seeded Bassick (20-2) takes on No. 6 Windham (19-5) in the Class L quarterfinals tonight at Cheshire High School, a hop, skip and jump from my home in Hamden. So I’m a relatively happy guy.