Boys Hoop Bracket Breakdown: Central

Division 1

FAVORITES: St. Peter-Marian (16-4), St. John's (18-4), Franklin (16-6), Fitchburg (17-3)

CONTENDERS: Wachusett (15-5), Burncoat (13-7), Worcester South (11-9)

SLEEPERS: Acton-Boxboro (11-9)

OVERVIEW: Fitchburg coach Jack Scott's Red Raiders jumped out to the top seed in the Division 1 Central tournament, thanks in part to Mick Snowden's heroics in their victory over second-seeded St. John's last week. The Pioneers, who won five consecutive Division 1 Central championships before losing to Milford in the title game last year, possess one of the state's best stable of forwards –- including Alex Fisher, TJ Kelley, Drew Vittum, and Charlie Murray. St. Peter-Marian got the best of St. John's last time they met though, sophomore point guard Makai Ashton-Langford has emerged as one of the best point guards in the state. Keep a close eye on Central Mass. newcomer Franklin, who is coming off a championship at the Comcast Tournament.

Bradley's upset special: Doherty over Lincoln-Sudbury

Bradley's breakout tournament star: Greg Kuakumensah, Soph., St. Peter-Marian

Bradley's Pick: St. Peter-Marian

Hall's Upset Special: Franklin over Wachusett

Hall's Breakout Tournament Star: Makai Ashton-Langford, Soph. G, St. Peter-Marian

Hall’s Pick: St. Peter-Marian over Franklin

Division 2

FAVORITES: Concord-Carlisle (17-2), St. Bernard's (12-8)

CONTENDERS: Medfield (12-8), Wayland (10-8), Westborough (11-9)

SLEEPERS: Hopkinton (11-9)

OVERVIEW: The top-seeded Concord-Carlisle Patriots tore through Dual County League play this year, with their two losses to Woburn and Marblehead coming by a combined seven points. Right with the Patriots is St. Bernard's, who a 12-8 saw perhaps the toughest regular season schedule in the Division 2 Central field, beat regular powers like Cardinal Spellman, St. Peter-Marian, and Whitinsville Christian. A name to remember in this bracket is sophomore Garrett Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 forward from St. Bernard's who is one of the state's top sophomores.

Bradley's Upset Special: Hopkinton over Medfield

Bradley's Tournament Star: Garrett Stephenson, Soph., St. Bernard's

Bradley's Pick: St. Bernard's

Hall's Upset Special: Hopkinton over Medfield

Hall's Breakout Tournament Star: Garrett Stephenson, Soph. F, St. Bernard’s

Hall’s Pick: St. Bernard’s over Nashoba

Division 3

FAVORITES: Ashland (19-1), Clinton (17-3), Northbridge (17-3), Bartlett (14-6)

CONTENDERS: Tyngsborough (18-2), Littleton (14-6), Auburn (13-7)

SLEEPERS: Whitinsville Christian (13-7), Lunenburg (10-8)

OVERVIEW: Ashland dominated Tri-Valley league play this year, with their only loss coming in their final regular season game on the road against Norton. Clinton similarly dominated their league, finishing undefeated in Mid Wach C play – the Gaels ended their regular season on the ultimate high note in Central Mass. basketball: a Large School championship at the Clark Tournament. Keep a close eye on SWCL powers Bartlett and Northbridge, Bartlett guard Alex Givins-Perry is one of the top guards in the Division 2 field and the Rams are deep on the perimeter with Jason Ganley, Antonio Becerril, Jordan Johnson, and Jurrell Cromwell.

Bradley's Upset Special: Lunenburg over Littleton

Bradley's Breakout Star: Calvin Whipple, Fr., Lunenburg

Bradley's Pick: Clinton

Hall's Upset Special: Lunenburg over Littleton

Hall's Breakout Tournament Star: Calvin Whipple, Fr. G, Lunenburg

Hall’s Pick: Clinton over Northbridge

Division 4

FAVORITES: Sutton (18-1), Maynard (18-2), Douglas (15-5), Hopedale (14-6)

CONTENDERS: Parker Charter (17-3), Blackstone Valley Tech (15-5), Advanced Math & Science (15-5)

SLEEPERS: Worcester Tech (12-8)

OVERVIEW: Division 4 play is dominated by the Dual Valley Conference this year, with league-champion Sutton headlining a list of top teams in the field that also includes upstart Douglas and Hopedale. Another team that should be considered a favorite in this field is Maynard, the Tigers are lead by senior guard Ryan Fowler – who is averaging a shade under 19 points per game.

Bradley's Upset Special: University Park over Blackstone Valley Tech

Bradley's Breakout Star: Brandon Baril, Jr., Douglas

Bradley's Pick: Sutton

Hall’s Upset Special: Worcester Tech over Hopedale

Hall’s Breakout Tournament Star: Ryan Fowler, Sr. G, Maynard

Hall’s Pick: Sutton over Maynard