For the 100th time, Indiana high school boys basketball teams were placed into sectional brackets this evening revealing the road to a state championship. Tonight's blind drawing took place in the same place it will end March 27 – Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Four hundred three teams (403), one more than last year, will begin play next week. It's the most since the same number of teams entered the 1976 state tournament.

Sectional games are scheduled to begin eight days from now on Monday, March 1, and run through Saturday, March 6, at 64 sites around the state. The regional round is slated for March 13, semi-states on March 20 and the state finals on March 27 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. In all, 399 games will be played over the four-week period.

Among the top-ranked teams in the latest Associated Press and coach poll, Class 4A No. 1 and defending state champion Bloomington South will face Columbus East in Sectional 14 at Columbus North. The Panthers have won 45 straight games dating back to the start of last season and need five more wins to tie the state record held by Lawrence North (2005-2006). In 3A, No. 1 Danville will host Crawfordsville in the Sectional 25 opener. In 2A, top-ranked Brownstown Central will take on West Washington in the Sectional 47 opening game at Paoli. And in Class A, No. 1 Bowman Academy drew LaCrosse in Sectional 49 at Morgan Township.

Among the other defending state champions, Princeton in Class 3A is paired with Evansville Bosse in the first game of Sectional 32 at Boonville; two-time defending state champion Fort Wayne Bishop Luers with All-American Deshaun Thomas drew the bye in Sectional 38 at Bluffton and will face the Woodlan-Bluffton winner and; last year's Class A state champion, Jac-Cen-Del, is matched against Rising Sun in the first game of Sectional 60 at South Decatur.

Three schools will be making their first appearances in the 2010 state tournament. Herron of Indianapolis will compete in Class 2A, Sectional 43, at Indianapolis Washington. Covenant Christian of DeMotte is assigned to Class A, Sectional 52 at Tri-County. Irvington Preparatory Academy will begin in Sectional 58 at Edinburgh.

Tecumseh, in Class A, leads the state with 11 consecutive sectional championships while Lafayette Central Catholic, also in Class A, has won eight straight. Harding and Washington, both in 3A, follow with five in a row.

Sectionals Dates: March 1-6, 2010


1. East Chicago Central (7)

Game 1 – Lake Central vs. East Chicago Central

Game 2 – Highland vs. Hammond Morton

Game 3 – Munster vs. Lowell

Game 4 – Gary West Side vs. Winner of Game 1

Game 5 – Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3

Championship – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5

2. Michigan City (8)

Game 1 – Chesterton vs. Valparaiso.

Game 2 – Crown Point vs. LaPorte.