Class AA -- Niagara Falls
Schedule: Saturday's semifinals -- Niagara Falls (20-4) vs. VIII-Uniondale (18-4), 2:15 p.m.; II-Christian Brothers-Albany vs. I-Mount Vernon, 12:30 p.m. Sunday's championship -- 2:45 p.m.
Niagara Falls starters: Anthony Marshall (5-8 sr.), Rashon Tabb (6-0 so.), Jonathan Flynn (6-0 jr.), E.J. Fuller (6-3 jr.), Tyrell Lynch (6-8 sr.). Key reserves: Kendall Davis (6-1 sr.), Dennis Crittenden (5-7 so.).
History: Coach Dan Bazzani and the defending Federation champs are aiming at a third straight finals berth. It's the fourth final four trip in the school's six seasons.
Scouting Uniondale: The Long Island champion from Section VIII (Nassau County) was routed by Falls, 57-35, in the 2004 semifinals, but Newsday ranks this year's squad as the school's "most complete team ever." Drexel-bound 6-2 senior swingman Lance Feurtado leads the Knights.
Bracketology: The same final four from 2004 also includes four-time public school state champion Mount Vernon, which beat Falls in the 2004 final and is in its sixth final four in seven years. Mount Vernon will likely face a big semifinal crowd supporting Christian Brothers Academy.
Class A -- Sweet Home
Schedule: Saturday's semifinals -- Sweet Home (20-5) vs. VIII-Jericho (21-2), 10:45 a.m.; II-Averill Park vs. I-Peekskill, 9 a.m. Sunday's championship -- 1 p.m.
Sweet Home starters: Quentin Hudson (6-1 sr.), Brett Vroman (5-11 sr.), Earl Jackson (6-0 jr.), Glenroy Carr (6-6 jr.), Daniel Joseph (6-5 sr.). Key reserves: Steven Roberts (5-2 jr. who is OK to play after spraining his knee in the regionals), Eric Schnirel (5-8 jr.), Ali Ramadan (6-1 so.).
History: Sweet Home makes its third final four trip -- and first since 1986 -- since the state tournament was revived in 1978. Coach Paul Schintzius was a senior on the 1984 Panthers team that won the state title in Class A (then the largest class) in Glens Falls.
Scouting Jericho: Also the Long Island champion hailing from Section VIII (Nassau County), the Jayhawks were led to their first final four by 6-6 sophomore Matt Cajuste.
Bracketology: The bracket is similar to Falls' in the semifinal matchup as well as in the opposite bracket, where another longtime state power from Section I looms in Peekskill. Elton Brand's alma mater has won three state titles, including last year's.
Class B -- Lackawanna
Schedule: Friday's semifinals -- Lackawanna (24-1) vs. XI-Wyandanch (19-5), 8:30 p.m.; X-Ogdensburg vs. I-Somers-JFK, 6:45 p.m. Saturday's final -- 9 p.m.
Lackawanna starters: Leshawn Blackburn (6-0 jr.), Kenny Sweat (5-8 jr.), Marcus Rivers (6-4 jr.), Lesean Braxton (6-2 sr.), Steve Kozaczka (6-9 sr.). Key reserves: Russell Holt (6-4 jr.), Curtis Underwood (6-1 jr.).
History: It is Lackawanna's fourth trip to the final four but its first since 1989. The Steelers went in 1979 and 1985 under 17-year coach Bill Bilowus. Joe Foley, father of current coach Tim Foley, was a longtime assistant under Bilowus.
Scouting Wyandanch: The Steelers also play the Long Island champion. Suffolk County's Warriors are led by 6-foot junior Chris Barber (43 points in the LI final).
Bracketology: Another Section I state titlist is on the other side in 2004 champ JFK of Somers. Lackawanna has been a strong title favorite all season long as it has been ranked at or near the top of the state rankings, and the strong-at-every-position Steelers played like it in their 58-34 regional rout of Penn Yan.
-- Keith McShea