Last year's University High Christmas was the most competitive ever and this year's bracket appears even more enticing in terms of parity.
Charleston once again got the first seed, but there doesn't appear to be near the drop off in talent from top to bottom as there has been in most of the tournaments of the past.
Even Chaffee, the 16th seed, took Bell City, the fifth seed, to the wire Monday night.
Meadow Heights, usually nothing more than a tournament stepping stone, rose all the way to the eighth seed after starting the year 5-1 with wins over Leopold (twice), Woodland and Marquand.
Cape Central, which was a tournament bully until recent years, got the No. 7 seed and could take on No. 2 Notre Dame in the second round.
Advance, which won the title last year, was seeded sixth. The Hornets seem to be clumped together with Class 1A district foes, Oran, the fourth seed, and No. 5 Bell City.
HealthSouth Holiday Classic
The HealthSouth Holiday Classic once again features one of the toughest fields of any tournament in the state.
Poplar Bluff, an early favorite to advance to the Class 4A Final Four, is looking to win its fifth straight HealthSouth title. The Lady Mules are seeded first.
But Notre Dame, which took second in the Class 2A state tournament last year, played Poplar Bluff to three points this year and has garnered the second seed. Jackson, which took third in the 4A state tournament last year, got the third seed, followed by No. 4 Cape Central, No. 5 Farmington, No. 6 Massac County, No. 7 Perryville and No. 8 Heritage Christian of Hopkinsville, Ky.