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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    The Lonesome Polecat: BRACKETOLOGY v. 3.O-HHHH


    We’re tired of all the variables, numbers and mathing, so let’s get right to it:


    1. The (unofficial) qualifiers should be correct because we cross-checked them with Sean Patrick Star and Michael “Kronwalled” Fornabaio of the GameTimeCT/Hearst Monolith, for which we thank them.

    REMEMBERNO ONE officially qualifies until the CIAC football committee says so. They’ll rubber stamp everything the day after the end of the regular season, whenever that is.

    2. We had to predict the winners of all 59 games to do this. That’s obviously the crappiest of crap-shoots.

    3. We’re going to be wrong about some of these predictions. Like, really, really wrong. That’s because Thanksgrabbing week is always nutters. And if that wasn’t enough, this season has been chaotic, as proven by there being five No. 1 teams over eight weeks in The Day’s Top 10 state coaches’ poll.

    4. Just because we didn’t pick your team to qualify doesn’t mean we hate you.

    Hell, we don’t even know you, man.

    5. A team receives 10 bonus points for any win by a team it beat.

    There’s also schedule strength points that award a team five points for every win by an opponent even if it lost to said opponent.

    That, and the schedule strength points, mean that programs that play winning teams gain more playoff points than programs that don’t.

    All that means is that the better the schedule, the more points a team gets.

    6. Let me remind you — this is not a competition. It’s only an exhibition. Please, no wagering.

    The state quarterfinals (Tuesday, Nov. 29) and semifinals (Sunday, Dec. 4) are hosted by the higher seeds.

    The finals are on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Arute Field at Central Connecticut State and Rentschler Field. Both will host three games at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

    THIRTY FIVE teams have (unofficially) qualified. THIRTEEN spots (unofficially) open.

    HEY, HO — LET’S GO!




    No. 1 Greenwich (8-1)

    NEXT: at Staples (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It’s clinched a home quarterfinal and has a shot at being the top seed with a win.

    No. 2 West Haven (9-0)

    NEXT: at Fairfield Prep (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Ditto but it has a chance to earn 75 points in bonuses to 35 for the Cardinals. Whether or not the Westies can get more than 30 points is in question.

    No. 3 Southington (8-1)

    NEXT: at Cheshire (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    Blue Knights get a home quarterfinal with a win.

    It can also lose and still get one because it’s so far ahead of everyone behind it. It has a 190 point lead over No. 5 Hamden, for instance.

    No. 4 Staples (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Greenwich (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Wreckers will most likely clinch a home quarter with a win.

    Hamden can pass them because it has 75 potential bonuses (many of which aren’t great) and the Wreckers have just 15, but the Green Dragons will almost need to max out to do so.

    No. 5 Hamden (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Notre Dame-West Haven (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    Best chance to get a home quarter is a win and a Staples loss. It can be seeded as high as third.

    No. 6 Trumbull (7-2)

    NEXT: at St. Joseph (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    Can be seeded as high as third with a win, losses by Southington, Staples and Hamden and bonuses.

    No. 7 Fairfield Prep (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. West Haven (9-0), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Jesuits can be seeded as high as third with a win and losses by Southington, Staples, Hamden and Trumbull. They can also best Trumbull on bonuses even Trumbull wins.

    No. 8 Glastonbury (8-2)

    NEXT: Regular season finished.

    It can be the fourth seed IF Staples, Hamden, Trumbull AND Prep all lose. Yep, that’s asking a lot.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Greenwich (9-1) vs. No. 8 Fairfield Prep (6-4); No. 2 West Haven (10-0) vs. No. 7 Staples (8-2); No. 3. Southington (9-1) vs. No. 6 Glastonbury (8-2 — THE REMATCHENING); No. 4 Hamden (9-1) vs. No. 5 Trumbull (8-2).



    No. 1 St. Joseph (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Trumbull (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    Top seed with a win and can fall as far as fourth with a loss.

    No. 2 Naugatuck (8-1)

    NEXT: Ansonia (9-0), Thanksgrabbing.

    No worse than the second seed with a win.

    No. 3 Newtown (8-1)

    NEXT: at Masuk (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Has a good shot at hosting a quarterfinal if it wins.

    No. 4 Maloney (8-1)

    NEXT: at Platt (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    Has a good shot a hosting a quarterfinal if it wins.

    No. 5 New Canaan (8-1)

    NEXT: at Darien (6-3), Thanksgrabbing.

    Rams have a shot a hosting a quarterfinal with a win but have a lower ceiling than Naugy, Newtown and Maloney, so they can use a loss by any from that trio.


    No. 6 Cheshire (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Southington (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    If the Rams lose and Shelton wins, they’d still have a chance to win on points but it’s not worth risking.

    They’d qualify if Shelton loses, too.

    No. 7 Darien (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. New Canaan (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Blue Wave can lose and still qualify if either Cheshire, New Milford or Shelton loses, preferably the last two.

    Go down to New Milford and read what could happen if the Blue Wave, Cheshire and New Milford all lose.

    No. 8 New Milford (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. New Fairfield (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    It must win because it trails Cheshire and Darien in points, and odds are that Shelton beats Xavier.

    Let’s say that happens. Darien will have 1,090 points before bonuses, Cheshire will have 1,080 points and New Milford 1,030 points. A 50-point hole is a big problem. The Green Wave also lost to Cheshire, so if the latter loses, then they’res out five points.


    No. 9 Shelton (5-4)

    NEXT: vs. Xavier (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    There’s a chance, let’s say less than 50%, that the Gaels can win and still lose out to Cheshire or Darien even if both lose, depending on how all three teams do with bonuses.

    The safest route is a win and a New Milford loss because Shelton will have 1,105 points and the Green Wave 1,035 before bonuses come into play. New Milford has a mathematical chance at still beating the Gaels for a berth if bonuses go its way, but there’s little chance they will.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Naugatuck (9-1) vs. No. 8 Shelton (6-4 — it’s HOT NAUGATUCK VALLEY-ON-NAUGATUCK VALLEY ACTION); No. 2 St. Joseph (8-2) vs. No. 7 New Milford (7-3); No. 3 Newtown (9-1) vs. No. 6 Darien (7-3); No. 4 Maloney (9-1) vs. No. 5 New Canaan (8-2).



    No. 1 Sports & Medical Sciences co-op (10-0)

    NEXT: Regular season finished.

    The TIGERHAWKS are YOUR No. 1 seed.

    No. 2 Northwest United (9-0)

    NEXT: vs. Abbott Tech/Immaculate (7-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Clinches the No. 2 seed with a win and can drop as far as five with a loss.

    No. 3 Killingly (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Woodstock Academy (4-4) at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., Thanksgrabbing.

    Clinches a home quarterfinal with a win and will be seeded no lower than three.

    No. 4 Wethersfield (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Newington (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Clinches a home quarterfinal with a win.

    No. 5 Thames River (9-0)

    NEXT: vs. Quinebaug Valley (5-4), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Crusaders (unofficially) qualified for their first playoff berth. They can, however, finish unbeaten and be seeded as low as fifth because they ended up with so many losing teams on their schedule and picked up fewer points because of it.


    No. 6 Masuk (7-2)

    NEXT: vs. Newtown (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Panthers will be hard-pressed to top last year’s thriller.

    No. 7 North Haven (7-2)

    NEXT: at Amity (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    We’ll be honest — our biggest playoff dream is Killingly vs. North Haven because they are two of the finest and most devoted practitioners of the Manly Discipline of the Running Arts.

    No. 8 Platt (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Maloney (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    Darien, Masuk and the Panthers are the only teams that must beat a Top 10 team in order to make states. Eep.


    No. 9 Guilford (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Hand (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It sure looks like this is the Grizzlies’ best shot to beat its Madison nemesis in a long, long, long, LONG time. The Tigers have won 14 in a row with an outrageous 42-5-1 series lead.

    No. 10 Wilton (7-3)

    NEXT: Season over.

    It and Guilford both need Masuk, North Haven or Platt to lose.

    There’s a chance that Masuk and North Haven can lose and still best Guilford and Wilton on points, so it’s best that Platt loses.

    Wilton can earn up to 60 in bonuses, Guilford up to 40. On paper, neither should get them all, which will make for a tight race.


    No. 11 E.O. Smith (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Tolland (3-6), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    The Panthers will max out at 1,200. .... if all eight of their bonus games go their way to earn 100 in bonuses.

    That’s. ... not going to happen.

    It can’t get past the eighth seed, either.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 SMSA (10-0) vs. No. 8 Guilford (7-3); No. 2 Killingly (9-1) vs. No. 7 Wilton (7-3); No. 3 Wethersfield (9-1) vs. No. 6 North Haven (8-2); No. 4 Northwest United (9-1) vs. No. 5 Thames River (10-0).



    No. 1 Berlin (10-0)

    NEXT: Regular season finished.

    The Redcoats are YOUR No. 1 seed.

    No. 2 Law (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Foran (9-0), Thanksgrabbing.

    Clinches a top three seed with a win.

    No. 3 Abbott Tech/Immaculate (8-1)

    NEXT: at Northwest United (9-0), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    Clinches a top four seed with a win.

    No. 4 Rockville (7-2)

    NEXT: at Ellington (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    Odds aren’t as good to host a home quarter as they are for the previous two teams, more so if Notre Dame wins.

    No. 5 Notre Dame-West Haven (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. at Hamden (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    A top five seed, win or lose. Might host a home quarterfinal with a win, too.

    No. 6 RHAM (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Bacon Academy (1-8), Thanksgrabbing.

    Raptors are making their first trip to states. They’ll be seeded sixth if they win, or seventh if they lose and Public wins.


    No. 7 Hartford Public (5-4)

    NEXT: vs. Weaver (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

    No. 8 Branford (4-5)

    NEXT: at East Haven (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

    No. 9 East Lyme (4-5)

    NEXT: vs. Waterford (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

    Public has a big edge on the other two because its floor with a win is 955, Branford’s is 910 and East Lyme’s is 900.

    Odds are, then, that the Owls will qualify and leave Branford and East Lyme fighting for the final berth.

    Branford certainly has the edge in opponent.

    The Vikings have the edge in ceiling, 965-955 (a win over Waterford also costs the Hornets’ 15 bonus points.)

    Again, let’s get wild, wild, wild.


    No. 10 Woodstock Academy (4-5)

    NEXT: vs. Killingly (8-1) at Nichols College, Thanksgrabbing.

    We’d list the Centaurs with Branford, Public and East Lyme because, on paper, it’s in a race with all of them.

    The problem, of course, is Killingly.


    No. 11 Lyman Hall (4-5)

    NEXT: at Sheehan (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    No. 12 Avon (4-5)

    NEXT: at Lewis Mills (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    No. 14 Watertown (3-6)

    NEXT: vs. Torrington (1-8).

    All three need two of three to lose — Public, Branford or East Lyme.

    The chances of Branford and Public losing aren’t good, though. At all.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Berlin (10-0) vs. No. 8 Branford (5-5); No. 2 Law (9-1) vs. No. 7 Hartford Public (6-4); No. 3. Abbott Tech/Immaculate (9-1) vs. RHAM (7-3); No. 4 Rockville (8-2) vs. No. 5 Notre Dame-West Haven (6-4).



    No. 1 Foran (9-0)

    NEXT: at Law (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    It will be the top seed with a win. It can fall as far as fifth with a loss.

    No. 2 Cromwell/Portland (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Rocky Hill (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    A top five seed, win-or-lose. A top three seed if it wins.

    No. 3 Windham (8-1)

    NEXT: vs. Montville (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    A top five seed, win-or-lose. A top three seed if it wins.

    No. 6 Granby/Canton (8-2)

    NEXT: Regular season finished.

    Will be seeded between fourth and sixth.


    No. 4 Ledyard (8-1)

    NEXT: at Fitch (5-4), Thanksgrabbing.

    It can earn a home quarterfinal with a win but there’s a slim chance that Barlow passes the Colonels if it beats Weston and earns enough bonuses.

    Ledyard will also qualify with losses by either Barlow, Rocky Hill, Gilbert or Valley.

    No. 5 Barlow (7-2)

    NEXT: at Weston (4-5), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It can be seeded as high as No. 2 if nearly everything goes its way.

    No. 7 Rocky Hill (7-2)

    NEXT: at Cromwell/Portland (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Terriers can jet all the way to No. 2 IF it wins and i Foran, Cromwell/Portland, Ledyard and Barlow all fall apart.

    We’d also be a millionaire IF we’d just pick the right Powerball numbers.

    No. 8 Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic (7-2)

    NEXT: vs. St. Paul (4-5), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Yellowjackets are among the few teams that made Ansonia sweat, so we’re not going to bother with what needs to happen if they lose.


    No. 9 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (8-1)

    NEXT: at Haddam-Killingworth (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    The WARRIORCATS and Ellington were both negatively impacted as much as anyone by Public’s forfeit because it gave Rocky Hill enough points to leap past them.

    Valley/OL is still very much alive, though, because it can still qualify with a win and a loss by either Ledyard, Barlow, Rocky Hill or G/N/H. You can figure out which of those possibilities is the best.

    No. 10 Ellington (7-2)

    NEXT: vs. Rockville (7-2), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Knights must win and hope that two of the following lose — Ledyard, Barlow, Rocky Hill, G/N/H or the WARRIORCATS. That’s a lot to ask. As if getting past Rockville, the one team that beat Cromwell/Portland, wasn’t tough enough.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Cromwell/Portland (9-1) vs. No. 8 Valley Regional/Old Lyme (9-1 — THE REMATCHENING); No. 2 Windham (9-1) vs. No. 7 Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic (8-2); No. 3 Foran (9-1) vs. No. 6 Granby/Canton (8-2); No. 4 Ledyard (9-1) vs. No. 5 Barlow (8-2).



    No. 1 Ansonia (9-0)

    NEXT: at Naugatuck (8-1), Thanksgrabbing.

    The Chargers are YOUR No. 1 seed.

    No. 2 Holy Cross (7-2)

    NEXT: at Wolcott (2-7), Thanksgrabbing.

    It’ll be a top three seed, win or lose.

    No. 3 Bloomfield (8-2)

    NEXT: Regular season finished.

    The WARHAWKS will be seeded second or third. They have good odds to be second because they have an 80-15 edge in bonus points over Holy Cross.

    No. 4 Woodland (7-2)

    NEXT: at Seymour (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Hawks will be a top four seed with a win and can drop as far as seventh with a loss.

    No. 5 New Fairfield (7-2)

    NEXT: at New Milford (6-3), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The REBELS will be a top four seed if Woodland loses and they earn enough bonuses. They’re bonuses aren’t good, however. They’re also playing New Milford, which beat Barlow (31-21), which maimed them (47-13, Oct. 21).

    No. 6 East Catholic (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Northwest Catholic (2-7), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    The Eagles can go as high as fourth but most likely will be either sixth or seventh.

    No. 7 Seymour (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Woodland (7-2), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It can get as high as fifth but cannot pass Woodland.


    No. 8 Haddam-Killingworth (6-3)

    NEXT: vs. Valley Regional/Old Lyme (8-1), Thanksgrabbing Eve Eve.

    The Cougars are all but staked if they lose because North Branford is playing Coginchaug.


    No. 9 North Branford (5-4)

    NEXT: vs. Coginchaug/Hale-Ray/East Hampton (1-8), Thanksgrabbing Eve.

    It needs to win and have H-K lose. Period.

    Oddly enough, the Thunderbirds can get the berth despite losing to H-K, 15-14 (Oct. 21). North Branford can pass the Cougars, however, on points. The two played all the same opponents except for one — the Thunderbirds beat Stafford/East Windsor/Somers (3-6 record), while H-K beat winless Coventry/Windham Tech/Bolton/Lyman Memorial.

    THE EIGHT: No. 1 Ansonia (9-1) vs. No. 8 North Branford (6-4); No. 2 Bloomfield (8-2) vs. No. 7 New Fairfield (7-3); No. 3. Holy Cross (8-2) vs. No. 7 East Catholic (7-3); No. 4 Woodland (7-3) vs. No. 5 Seymour (7-3).

    • • • •

    BEHOLD, The Day of New London Top 10 state coaches' poll: 1. West Haven (11 first-place votes); 2. Greenwich (one first-place vote); 3. Southington; 4. St. Joseph (one first-place vote); 5. Maloney; 6. New Canaan; 7. Hamden; 8. Newtown; 9. Fairfield Prep; 10. Ansonia.

    • • • •

    The New Haven Register/GameTimeCT.com Monolith Top 10 media poll: 1. West Haven (9-0, 12 first-place votes); 2. Southington (six first-place votes); 3. Greenwich (four first-place votes); 4. Maloney (one first-place vote); 5. St. Joseph; 6. New Canaan; 7. Hamden; 8. Ansonia; 9. Staples; 10. Newtown.

    A segment of media voted didn’t vote West Haven No. 1 last week after an impressive 27-23 win over Hamden. It resulted in the Westies being ranked third.

    Every team in the Top 10 was off this past weekend, but enough media changed their ballots and caused the Westies moving to move up to No. 1.

    YOU try to make sense out of it.

    Staples is No. 11 in the coaches’ poll.

    Prep is No. 13 in the media poll.

    • • • •

    Ned Freeman’s cold, calculating computer rankings for CalPreps and MaxPreps: 1. Greenwich; 2. West Haven; 3. St. Joseph; 4. Southington; 5. New Canaan; 6. Fairfield Prep; 7. Staples; 8. Newtown; 9. Maloney; 10. North Haven.

    Hamden was 13th (?!) and Ansonia was No. 25.

    Staples was No. 11 in The Day coaches’ poll and North Haven was No. 12.

    Fairfield Prep continues to have the top-rated schedule. Click HERE to see why.

    • • • •

    That’s all for now.

    We’re going to (try to) update this after Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games, emphasis on “try to.”

    Thanks for reading.


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