Monday, 1 January 2007

Happy New Year to All

Just one game on the CIS slate today as at 2 PM McMaster completed their holiday swing through Florida with a 74-59 loss against Nova Southeastern University Sharks, an NCAA Division II program in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL. The Sharks, with a decidedly foreign look to their roster with 7 imports (6 from Australia and 1 from Brazil) and a couple of transfers from Division 1 Campbell, grabbed a 13-2 lead early and had leads greater than 20 in cruising to victory. Game Report from Nova Southwestern web site . The Marauders (3-5 in league play) now return home to face Brock Badgers (5-3 in league play) in St. Catherines this coming Saturday at 4 PM at the Bob Davis Gym in a key rivalry game. A Mac loss would put them 3 games behind Brock, now in second place in the OUA West. The top 2 teams in the OUA West receive first-round byes in the playoffs.

Also, don't forget at 5 PM Eastern the USC Trojans, without the sideline support of alumnus Reggie Bush, tackle Michigan in the "granddaddy of them all" - the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Michigan is tough but this could be Dwayne Jarrett's last college game, Emmanuel Moody should be back at running back and the Trojan "d" led by Rey Rey, LoJax and Taylor Mays, the next Ronnie Lott (enough hype for you?) will be tough on Chad Henne, who as a freshman was soundly beaten by USC at the Rose Bowl two years ago. Fight On! There is plenty on this game at "Tribute to Troy" (see link on the right of this blog) and to show you I'm not competely one-sided here's a preview from the Detroit Free Press

Among the teams with holiday results not yet published is Canada West's University College of Fraser Valley, which competed in a two-day event in Oakland, CA at Holy Names University, an NAIA school. UCFV took on the host team on Thursday and no results are available however on the second night, the Cascades had an apparent barnburner that went into overtime. According to the attached article, UCFV finished the game against Dominican University with only 4 men on the floor and ultimately fell 74-71 in OT. UCFV down to four men in overtime in California As well, our network of scribes are scorching the country-side attempting to dig up other scores from the state of Florida.

A couple of articles from Victoria and Winnipeg on the final day of their respective tournaments. The Winnipeg championship was played in front of a crowd of over 2,5000 fans Winnipeg Sun article on 40th Wesmen Classic championship game and Concordia swept three Canada West teams Victoria Times-Colonist UVic tournament article

New Top 10 Chat Not certain if there is a CIS coaches vote this Tuesday, however if there were, it would be a very difficult Top 10 selection to make indeed. Carleton should remain at #1 but #2 UBC lost decisively to #6 Concordia and had a tough time with a tired Queen's team. Logically, X would move up to #2 with their solid win at the Rod Shoveller tournament but #4 UVic, with a night to watch and prepare, lost at home to Concordia, a team coming off a big game against the #2 team in the country. As well, they were a made-desperation-heave-three away from losing to Queen's. The fact that Vikes were without Tyler Haas and Jacob Doerksen obviously affected things but Carleton won a National championship without Aaron Doornekamp, Ottawa was without possible CIS rookie-of-the-year Josh Gibson-Bascombe for 10 games last season, Guelph has been beat up, Mac didn't have Obrovac for basically the first half etc. etc. etc. Injuries are part of the deal and depth has to kick in - injuries generally should not affect how one votes in the Top 10. The Stingers, with their 3 game sweep of Canada West opponents three time zones west without a doubt should move up but how far? There are strong arguments for each of the bottom 3 teams in the last poll to remain in the Top 10. #8 Brock was an open 3 away from beating #10 Cape Breton in overtime but lost and then dominated their next 2 games. York, on the verge of entering the Top 10 before the holidays, then soundly defeated Cape Breton the next night after having an easier time the night before against TRU and captured the tournament championship. #9 Brandon beat a solid U of T team and then lost at unranked Winnipeg in the Wesmen title game but it was a program-defining type moment for the Wesmen at their 40th annual tournament in a hostile environment in front of a sellout crowd. I'll share my thoughts later this week on how I would vote if I had one however suffice to say if there is a vote the final choices can be debated and positioned in several ways.

Eastern Commerce has won a pair of close games at a high school holiday tournament in California article

Finally another nice note from Neate Sager, fellow blogger and author of a very good general sports site called Out in Left Field:

Hey Mark, Did you see Queen's went right down to the wire with UVic? For us bleed-Tricolour types, that's really kinda phenomenal, although UVic was short some key guys, including Doerksen. Rob Smart the Elder must really be working the family magic. I wrote a short article on it: here Keep up your great work.


Neate Sager

Visit Out of Left Field

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