It is a rare twist in the regional boys' basketball tournaments: No tri-county teams among the No. 1 seeds.
That's not to say the locals won't make their fair share of noise.
Edward Little is No. 2 in Eastern Class A, putting the Red Eddies in prime position to match up with juggernaut Hampden in the final. Dirigo chases its fifth straight Western Class C from the third hole, but the Cougars share the same 17-1 record as No. 1 Boothbay and defeated the Seahawks by double digits in Thursday's MVC championship at Augusta Civic Center.
Do both teams have the firepower to win when it matters most? Will one of the local underdogs surprise and sneak through the bracket?
Here is one veteran observer's forecast for the tourneys that kick off today in Augusta and Portland:
Eastern Class A
Hampden will be tested. Lewiston's tireless style or Bangor's halfcourt discipline and familiarity with the Hampden system are capable of making the Broncos sweat in the semifinals. And the EL-Lawrence survivor, if those teams outlast rugged first-round opponents, would have ample motivation in the final.
The Broncos just seem to have an old-school togetherness and awareness of one another that hasn't been seen in Maine schoolboy hoop since the Valley teams that won more than 100 straight games more than a decade ago. They also get after it on the defensive end, which is something that won't betray them even if they have a bad shooting night in the open air of the civic center. Look for another purple reign in Eastern A.
Western Class B
Preseason wisdom seemed to favor York, with its proven big man and play maker in place while Falmouth broke in a new starting five.
The Yachtsmen quickly showed that there would be no repeat of 2011, when they went into rare rebuilding mode and missed the tourney. It's hard to imagine any other team in the field playing spoiler and denying fans the rubber match. The neutral site and the the championship-game tension are bound to give everyone the nail-biter they've been waiting for. Hunch here is the Wildcats by a bucket in the final seconds.
Western Class C
There are legitimate reasons to pick against Dirigo. The Cougars face a brutal road to the final against explosive, non-conference rivals. With the exception of intense point guard Frost and defensive stopper Ross, few players on the roster have seen significant postseason minutes until now.
But something about winning breeds winning. The Cougars rightfully consider the civic center a second home. They are 13-1 there in the playoffs since 2009.
If it comes down to MVC rivals Dirigo and Boothbay, the Cougars will have to sink enough outside shots to soften that zone. Knowing their knack for coming up in big spots, they probably will.
Western Class D
Forest Hills has the least demanding road to the final of the three favorites. Hyde and Valley have enjoyed an intense tourney history with each other dating back to the early 1990s, and their impending reunion should be no exception.
In the end, Worster's star power, comfort level with the civic center and strong supporting cast should swing things the Tigers' way once again.
Prediction: Forest Hills