Linden boys’ basketball selected top seed for 81st annual UCT; Tigers seed 2nd title in 3 years

Union seeded 8th and repeat Sky Division champion Johnson 9th

The last time Linden was the top seed for the Union County boys’ basketball tournament the Tigers led Patrick School in the fourth quarter of the championship game. Then the Celtics scored the game’s final nine points en route to a 62-54 victory in the 2014 final at Kean.
Linden rebounded to win the UCT in 2015 for its third crown under head coach Phil Colicchio and 11th overall.
This time Linden will attempt to win the tournament for the first time as the top seed under Colicchio’s guidance.
Linden was named the top seed for the second time in four seasons Tuesday, with defending champion Patrick School receiving the second seed.
Many predict another Linden-Patrick School final.
Third-seeded Roselle Catholic, still seeking its first UCT title and the finalist the past two seasons, will seek to prevent most fans’ predicted UCT final of Linden-Patrick School.
The Union County Conference’s Mountain Division champion – St. Mary’s of Elizabeth – is the fourth seed and fellow Mountain Division squad Union Catholic the fifth seed.
Much-improved Scotch Plains is the sixth seed, Westfield the seventh, Union the eighth, repeat Sky Division champion Johnson the ninth and Rahway the 10th.
As of Tuesday’s schedule, Patrick School and Linden were tied in the loss column for the UCC’s Watchung Division lead, while Scotch Plains was to battle Rahway at Rahway Tuesday, with both of those teams tied for the Valley Division lead with 8-1 league marks.
Linden last defeated the Patrick School in the UCT final in 2007 when the Tigers led St. Patrick from start to finish in posting an impressive 63-51 win at the Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth.
Linden finished 30-3 that year and St. Patrick 30-2, with the latter winning the Tournament of Champions and finishing No. 2 in the country in the final USA Today national rankings.
Although Linden did not face St. Pat’s again in the TOC final because of a half-court shot made at the buzzer by Bloomfield Tech’s R.J. Hall in a TOC semifinal at Rutgers, Linden’s win over St. Pat’s did prevent the Celtics from finishing No. 1 in the country at season’s end.
Also on Tuesday night at Linden’s gym, Linden sought to sweep the season series against Roselle Catholic after beating the Lions 54-50 at RC back on Jan. 24.
Patrick School last year was the last top seed to win the UCT.
Plainfield in 2012 was the last public school team to win the UCT as the top seed.
Patrick School has won three of the last four UCT titles, while St. Patrick/Patrick School has won the championship 17 times since 1993.
St. Patrick reached the final 19 straight seasons from 1993-2011. Patrick School has reached the final three of the last four seasons.
The last year the final consisted of two public school teams was 1992 when Ben Candelino’s Elizabeth Minutemen defeated Wilbur Aikens’ Linden Tigers 69-57 in the final at Dunn.

RECENT Top seeds:
2017: Linden. 2016: Patrick School. 2015: Roselle Catholic.
2014: Linden. 2013: Roselle Catholic. 2012: Plainfield.

SEEDS: 1-Linden. 2-Patrick School. 3-Roselle Catholic. 4-St. Mary’s, Elizabeth.
5-Union Catholic. 6-Scotch Plains. 7-Westfield. 8-Union.
9-Johnson. 10-Rahway. 11-Plainfield. 12-Elizabeth.
13-Summit. 14-Roselle. 15-Hillside. 16-Cranford.
17-Gov. Livingston. 18-New Providence. 19-Oratory Prep. 20-Dayton.
21-Koinonia Academy.

PRELIMINARY ROUND
Wednesday, Feb. 8 or
Thursday, Feb. 9
21-Koinonia Academy at 20-Dayton

FIRST ROUND
Friday, Feb. 10 or
Saturday, Feb. 11
13-Summit at 12-Plainfield
14-Roselle at 11-Plainfield
15-Hillside at 10-Rahway
16-Cranford at 9-Johnson
17-Gov. Livingston at 8-Union
18-New Providence at 7-Westfield
19-Oratory Prep at 6-Scotch Plains
Koinonia-Dayton at 5-Union Catholic

SECOND ROUND
Wednesday, Feb. 15
Summit-Elizabeth winner vs. TBA-UC winner
Roselle-Plainfield winner vs. Oratory-SP winner
Hillside-Rahway winner vs. NProv.-West. Winner
Cranford-Johnson winner vs. GL-Union winner

QUARTERFINALS:
Two doubleheaders at TBA
Byes into quarterfinals:
1-Linden
2-Patrick School
3-Roselle Catholic
4-St. Mary’s, Elizabeth

SEMIFINALS
Tuesday, Feb. 21
At Kean University
Doubleheader: 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

FINALS:
Saturday, Feb. 25
At Kean University
JV: 4 p.m.
Varsity: 6 p.m.

FRANK J. CICARELL UCT BOYS’ BASKETBALL
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCORES, WINNING COACHES:
2016: Patrick School 58, Roselle Catholic 54 (2OT) – Mike Rice – Kean
2015: Linden 60, Roselle Catholic 56 – Phil Colicchio – at Kean
2014: Patrick School 62, Linden 54 – Chris Chevannes – at Kean
2013: Patrick School 44, Linden 42 – Chris Chevannes – at Kean
2012: Plainfield 72, Roselle Catholic 66 – Jeff Lubreski – at Kean
2011: St. Patrick 70, Linden 58 – Kevin Boyle – at Kean
2010: St. Patrick 82, Plainfield 45 – Kevin Boyle – at Kean
2009: St. Patrick 89, Elizabeth 72 – Kevin Boyle – last one at Dunn
2008: St. Patrick 67, Linden 56 – Kevin Boyle
2007: Linden 63, St. Patrick 51 – Phil Colicchio
2006: St. Patrick 65, Plainfield 52 – Kevin Boyle
2005: St. Patrick 77, Linden 68 – Kevin Boyle
2004: Elizabeth 58, St. Patrick 51 – Donald Stewart
2003: St. Patrick 68, Linden 62 – Kevin Boyle
2002: Elizabeth 75, St. Patrick 61 – Pat Brunner
2001: Linden 76, St. Patrick 59 – Phil Colicchio
2000: St. Patrick 69, Linden 55 – Kevin Boyle
1999: St. Patrick 52, Union 43 – Kevin Boyle
1998: St. Patrick 76, Union 45 – Kevin Boyle
1997: St. Patrick 61, Elizabeth 48 – Kevin Boyle
1996: St. Patrick 65, Elizabeth 47 – Kevin Boyle
1995: Elizabeth 50, St. Patrick 49 – Ben Candelino
1994: St. Patrick 63, Hillside 47 – Kevin Boyle
1993: St. Patrick 45, Elizabeth 41 – Kevin Boyle
1992: Elizabeth 69, Linden 57 – Ben Candelino
1991: Elizabeth 76, Linden 49 – Ben Candelino
1990: Elizabeth 96, Roselle 67 – Ben Candelino
1989: Elizabeth 65, Roselle 57 – Ben Candelino
1988: Linden 50, Elizabeth 45 – Wilbur Aikens
1987: Elizabeth 62, Linden 61 – Ben Candelino
1986: Elizabeth 50, Union Catholic 43 – Ben Candelino
1985: Elizabeth 70, Rahway 56 – Ben Candelino
1984: Elizabeth 57, Plainfield 42 – Ben Candelino
1983: Linden 66, Roselle 60 – Wilbur Aikens
1982: Linden 86, Union Catholic 67 – Wilbur Aikens
1981: Johnson Regional 73, Hillside 61 – Steve Petruzzelli
1980: Union 65, Plainfield 63 – Tom Fox
1979: Plainfield 70, Linden 68 – Rico Parenti
1978: Elizabeth 62, Plainfield 60 – Ron Kelly
1977: Roselle 75, Rahway 54 – Dick Young
1976: Roselle 61, Union 54 – Dick Young
1975: Plainfield 69, Rahway 64 – Rico Parenti
1974: Union 61, Cranford 48 – Tom Fox
1973: Linden 69, Roselle 53 – Wayman Everly
1972: Jefferson 50, Linden 43 – Ron Kelly
1971: Roselle 73, Linden 71 – Dick Young
1970: Jefferson 68, St. Mary’s 61 – Ron Kelly
1969: Jefferson 55, St. Mary’s 47 – Ron Kelly
1968: Linden 63, Jefferson 62 – Joe Gaines
1967: St. Patrick 58, Plainfield 50 – Ed “Buzzy” Fox
1966: Linden 61, St. Patrick 56 – Joe Gaines
1965: Westfield 61, Cranford 52 – Bob Sanislow
1964: Cranford 68, Linden 61 – Bill Martin
1963: Westfield 65, Roselle Catholic 45 – John Lay
1962: St. Mary’s 40, Linden 30 – Al LoBalbo
1961: Roselle 45, St. Mary’s 43 – Ralph Arminio
1960: St. Mary’s 53, Jefferson 43 – Al LoBalbo
1959: Westfield 54, Cranford 46 – John Lay
1958: Roselle 66, Cranford 64 – Ralph Arminio
1957: Rahway 64, Jefferson 51 – Bob Berger
1956: Plainfield 58, Sacred Heart 51 – Bill Brann
1955: Jefferson 52, St. Mary’s 44 – Bill Tranavitch
1954: Jefferson 57, Springfield 44 – Bill Tranavitch
1953: Linden 59, Union 38 – G. St. Andrassy
1952: St. Mary’s 48, Linden 30 – Al LoBalbo
1951: St. Mary’s 37, Jefferson 36 – Al LoBalbo
1950: Jefferson 69, Hillside 57 – Bill Tranavitch
1949: Jefferson 42, Hillside 41 – Bob Cox
1948: Jefferson 33, Springfield 32 – Bob Cox
1947: Springfield 31, Linden 29 – Walter Hohn
1946: Springfield 37, Linden 34 – Walter Hohn
1945: Jefferson 39, Roselle Park 23 – Abner West
1944: St. Patrick 40, Roselle Park 36 – Ken Milsop
1943: Rahway 34, Jefferson 33 – Earl Walter
1942: Rahway 46, Jefferson 30 – Earl Walter
1941: Rahway 32, Hillside 24 – Earl Walter
1940: Springfield 35, Cranford 33 – Bill Brown
1939: Linden 30, Plainfield 20 – Les Goodwin
1938: Springfield 25, Rahway 24 – Bill Brown
1937: Rahway 27, Hillside 17 – Earl Walter
CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Jefferson-Elizabeth 21
St. Patrick-Patrick School 19
Linden 11
Rahway 5
Roselle 5
Springfield 4
St. Mary’s, Elizabeth 4
Plainfield 4
Westfield 3
Union 2
Cranford 1
Johnson Regional 1

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