Saturday, 10 March 2007

Saturday's Thoughts on Wild Card & Seedings: A First Look

Neate Sager's sports blog has an entry that provides some opinions on coverage of CIS basketball nationals Canada's Sports Leaders Seem to be a bunch of followers

After last night's pair of surprising upsets in Atlantic Canada and Concordia's convincing victory over Laval in the Quebec league final, the seven qualifying teams for the Final Eight have been established: Concordia, Carleton, UBC, Brandon, Windsor, Acadia and St. Mary's. Thoughts can now turn to the selection of the 8th and final team to qualify for Halifax via the wild card. To make the process thorough and fair, a handful of candidates for the wild card should be considered. However, very strong evidence points to there being only one logical candidate based on the body of work over the course of an entire season. Here are our thoughts on which teams might be considered by the selection committee and our choice for the wild card:

Ottawa (28-5) The Gee-Gees have only 5 losses including playoffs all season - all in conference or playoff play, 4 on the road and all against greater than .500 teams:
- at Carleton by 2 in the OUA East final,
- at York by 3, a team they subsequently beat by 15 at home
- at Toronto by 2 at the buzzer, a team they subsequently defeated in the OUA East semi-finals
- at Windsor by 14,
- Queen’s by 1 at the buzzer, a team they subsequently defeated in Kingston by 13

The Gee-Gees are also the first team in recent memory to record 2 wins against Carleton. As well, Ottawa was 4-0 vs. AUS this season including 3 wins at the Stu Aberdeen Classic: wins on the home floors of Final Eight qualifiers Acadia (in Wolfville) and St.Mary’s (in Halifax) , at Dalhousie and Memorial (neutral game). The Gee-Gees have a 4-2 record against teams that have already qualified for the Final Eight and are 12-4 in the New Year. Ottawa also has the highest RPI of any team not already qualified for the Final Eight (5th in the overall RPI rankings).

Cape Breton (21-11) The Capers have 5 conference losses including playoffs (3 losses to Acadia, 1 loss each to St. FX and St.Mary's) plus non-conference losses to Carleton by 20, Queen’s by 24, UBC by 11, York by 15 and X with only one big non-conf win over Brock in OT. The Capers lost their last 3 games in a row. Cape Breton is 2-7 against teams that have already qualified for the Final Eight and 11-5 in the New Year.

St. Francis Xavier (21-7) The X-Men, who finished second in the AUS standings and then lost in the conference semi-finals, have 7 losses including 6 losses in the last 14 games:

- 3 losses to Cape Breton, a team with 11 losses overall;
- 2 losses to Acadia, a team with 12 losses overall;
- and 1 loss each to St. Mary's at home (a .500 team with 16 losses) and UPEI (a below .500 team with 19 losses).

Due to a flu epidemic that cancelled 3 games out east, X has only played two CIS games all season against teams outside their conference (Bishop's and York - both wins on neutral floors). X has a 6-3 record against against teams in the Final 8 (played only Acadia & St. Mary's) (3-2 vs. Acadia; 3-1 vs. St. Mary's) and is 10-6 in the New Year. According to last week's RPI, currently the latest available, St. FX was ranked #7 (behind Ottawa's #5). With their subsequent loss to Acadia (#18 in the latest published RPI), expect X's RPI to drop.

Victoria (26-10) The Vikes lost their last 4 games in a row (all playoff games) including a two-game sweep at the hands of UBC in the Canada West Pacific division championship. Victoria was awarded the wild card berth for the Canada West Final Four and then lost to Brandon in the semi-final with a berth to the Final Eight on the line. After a solid regular season, Victoria's late season challenges make it difficult for the Vikes to be considered for a wild card.

Based on the above, CISHOOPS.CA believes than the Ottawa Gee-Gees should get the wild card berth for the Final Eight this season.

TURNING TO THE POSSIBLE SEEDINGS: Using the latest coaches poll, prior to tonight's Carleton/Windsor Wilson Cup and Acadia/St.Mary's AUS championship and assuming Ottawa is indeed named as the Final Eight wild card, here are what the rankings as of this morning would probably look like:

1. Concordia
2. Carleton
3. UBC
4. Brandon
5. Ottawa
6. Windsor
7. Acadia
8. St. Mary's

This would set up the following first-round games based strictly on the way things are this morning:

Concordia vs. St. Mary's
Carleton vs. Acadia
UBC vs. Windsor
Brandon vs. Ottawa

Possibilities after tonight: NOTE: Some things have been revised below after more careful consideration and some comments from readers. The winner of the AUS championship could get the higher seed but as of now both AUS teams should be ranked #7 and #8. If Windsor defeats Carleton, the Lancers could possibly move up to #5 and push Ottawa to #6 meaning putting Carleton at #3 would pit them against the Gee-Gees in the first round, a situation the committee would likely try to avoid. Dropping Carleton two spots to #4 would be harsh and also set up a Carleton/Windsor rematch in the first round, something the committee would presumably want to avoid. The committee could drop the Gee-Gees to #7, Windsor to #5 and Carleton to #3 as well. Thus here are some ideas on seedings:

if Carleton wins tonight:
1. Concordia
2. Carleton
3. UBC
4. Brandon
5. Ottawa
6. Windsor
7. Atlantic 1
8. Atlantic 2

Concordia vs. Atlantic 2
Carleton vs. Atlantic 1
UBC vs. Windsor
Brandon vs. Ottawa

if Windsor wins tonight:
1. Concorida
2. UBC
3. Carleton
4. Brandon
5. Windsor
6. Atlantic 1
7. Ottawa
8. Atlantic 2

Concordia vs. Atlantic 2
UBC vs. Ottawa
Carleton vs. Atlantic 1
Windsor vs. Brandon

Chad Lucas from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports on the semi-finals at the AUS tournament played yesterday in Halifax which produced a pair of upsets as St. Mary's and Acadia advanced to tonight's final and qualified for next weekend's CIS Final 8 tournament, also at the Metro Center Huskies and Axemen in AUS Final

BOTH OF TONIGHT'S GAMES ARE AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING OVER THE INTERNET VIA WEBCAST:
AUS Championship web cast: EastLink Television will be broadcasting and webcasting the championship game. Here is the link for the web cast AUS Championship Game Web Cast
OUA Championship Wilson Cup web cast Cogeco Television will be broadcasting the Wilson Cup and the Rogers Television network will pick up the feed to provide virtually all of Ontario with live television coverage (check your local listings). As well, Streaming Sports Network will have the game on their web cast network WILSON CUP Web cast link

Here is a preview of tonight's Wilson Cup game CIS HOOPS.CA Wilson Cup Preview

Halifax Daily News reports on last night's AUS semi-final upsets Huskies Knock off top ranked Cape Breton

3 comments:

Chet said...

Sorry Wass,

But if Windsor wins tonight there is no chance they get ranked behind a team from the AUS. Maybe Ottawa gets dropped to 7 and Windsor to 5? Then Windsor - Brandon and Ottawa - UBC???

David said...

Why aren't CIS preliminary games being webcast?

andrewt said...

Thanks Mark for the excellent summary of the teams that could be considered for the wildcard. The committee has no choice but to select Ottawa as the wildcard. It seems generous enough that there are 2 teams from the AUS automatically in the tournament, I can't imagine having a 3rd. The AUS conference has only 8 teams! Enough with the charity, let's see the best 8 teams in the country.