Linden boys’ basketball will next play March 19 at Pine Belt Arena in TOC semifinals; Final is March 20 in Trenton

Tigers seek second straight appearance in championship game and first title

Because of Tuesday’s statewide heavy snowfall, the boys’ basketball Tournament of Champions has been moved up to a March 17, March 19, March 20 schedule:

Second-seeded Linden, which repeated as Group 4 champions, will now play in the semifinals March 19 at Pine Belt Arena (Toms River North High School).

Here’s the revised schedule:

 

QUARTERFINALS:

Friday, March 17

at Pine Belt Arena – Toms River North High School in Toms River

6-Verona vs. 3-Don Bosco Prep, 5:30 p.m.

5-Newark West Side vs. 4-Teaneck, 7:30 p.m.

 

SEMIFINALS:

Sunday, March 19

at Pine Belt Arena – Toms River North High School in Toms River

Verona/Don Bosco Prep vs. 2-Linden, 5 p.m.

Newark West Side/Teaneck vs. 1-Patrick School, 7:30 p.m.

 

FINAL:

Monday, March 20

at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton

Semifinal winners, 8:15 p.m.

 

Linden is 5-5 in its first five TOC appearances, reaching the final twice, including last year.

If the Tigers are to win the TOC for the first time, they will have to win games on consecutive days and – most likely – against the two Non-public state champions – A champ Don Bosco Prep first Sunday in a semifinal in Toms River and then B champ Patrick School Monday night in the final in Trenton.

Non-public schools have won 24 of the first 28 championships. Only twice has the Group 4 champion won, with Elizabeth capturing the crown in 1990 and Shawnee in 1992. The only other public school teams that won the event were Group 3 state champions Orange in 1994 and Camden in 2000.

There has never been a final that consisted of two public school teams.

2017 TOC SEEDS:

1-Patrick School (27-4) – Non-Public, B champ

2-Linden (26-4) – Group 4 champ

3-Don Bosco Prep (28-1) – Non-Public, A champ

4-Teaneck (26-6) – Group 3 champ

5-Newark West Side (25-6) – Group 2 champ

6-Verona (25-5) – Group 1 champ

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