Now that I’ve had an hour or so to digest the official seeds in each class, here are some of my initial thoughts and reactions. I’ll be back in a little while with predictions, and of course, I’ll be hosting a live chat tonight at 7:30 to take all of your questions.
Usual suspects at the top: If you look at the teams that ended up with the top seeds in each class, there really aren’t many surprises. Arlington is the defending state champ in Class AA, and the Admirals will be the team to beat in AA once again as the No. 1 seed. For the sixth time in seven years, Byram Hills is the top seed in Class A, and Bronxville is No. 1 in Class B for the second consecutive season. Even in Class C, defending champ Solomon Schechter is No. 1. Three of the four teams that I labeled as the “favorite” in their respective class in the preseason ended up as No. 1 seeds.
Class AA is loaded, but the others…: I’m going to post my predictions in a few hours, but it’s very difficult to foresee many first round upsets in either Class A or Class B. Every team outside of the top eight in A is going to have to play an outbracket game, and none of the outbracket teams have been overly impressive this season. I could easy see a sweep from the home teams in A in the first round. In B, the 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 games look like they’ll be good ones, but I would be shocked if any team seeded sixth or better did not make it into the quarterfinals. Class AA is a much different story. No. 14 Greeley could definitely give No. 3 Yorktown a run for its money, as could No. 13 Carmel against No. 4 JJEF. In fact, outside of the top two seeds – Arlington and Mamaroneck – I think that every other first round game in AA is very much up in the air.
Toughest league in Section 1 ends up bunched together: Carmel’s win over Edgemont on Monday had some serious ripple effects, giving the Rams a .500 record and moving Arlington into a tie with Mamaroneck for the top seed in Class AA thanks to the extra bonus points. Since the Admirals had more total bonus than the Tigers, they were given the No. 1 seed due to the tiebreaking criteria. On the surface, that seems like a win for Arlington, but I would argue that it puts the Admirals on the more difficult side of the bracket. They’ll potentially have to deal with tough League I-A opponents such as John Jay-EF, Mahopac, Ketcham and Carmel in order to get to the section final, while Mamaroneck’s path seems to be a bit more forgiving. Out of the top four teams in my most recent Class AA rankings, three of them are on Arlington’s side of the bracket.
The Class A quarterfinals could be very interesting: While I could definitely see each of the top eight seeds moving on from the first round in Class A, the quarters could potentially have some very intriguing quarterfinal matchups. League rivals Pearl River and Tappan Zee are lined up to meet in the quarters after tying in each of their regular season meetings. Same goes for Pelham and Edgemont, which split during regular season. And the biggest one of them all could be Lakeland and Keio, which are currently the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams, respectively, in Class A.