Sunday, 6 January 2008

Coast-to-coast Standings Update

AUS Currently, there are 4 teams with a reasonable opportunity to grab the two byes in the first round of the AUS tournament which come with finishing first and second. The surprisingly-resiliant Cape Breton Capers and defending champion Acadia Axemen are neck-and-neck for first place with only 1 loss while St. FX has only 2 losses. St. Mary's, with only 3 losses are also contenders while Dal, now without star guard Simon Farine for an undetermined amount of time, is slipping into a middle-of-the-pack team and already has a loss at home against UPEI; the Panthers and Tigers appear to be waging a battle for fifth spots. However, both teams appear to be comfortably playoff-bound as both UNB Varsity Reds and Memorial Seahawks are winless and have been losing by lopsided scores virtually every night.

Cape Breton 8-1
Acadia 7-1
StFX 6-2
Saint Mary's 5-3
Dalhousie 4-4
UPEI 3-5
UNB 0-8
Memorial 0-8

With some games being worth four-points in AUS play, once the season winds down, we will pay more attention to actual point totals in the standings.

Home court advantage for the entire "Q" playoffs is completely wide open after this weekend's games as Concordia, battling injuries, have come back to the pack while McGill and Laval are hittting their strides. Bishop's had a strong start and after not playing for almost a month had a terrific effort against the Stingers shattered by a late Damian Buckley bucket. All 4 teams are still in the hunt for first place and unless UQAM can turn it around, those same 4 teams are likely playoff bound as well.

McGill 4-2
Laval 4-2
Concordia 4-2
Bishop's 2-3
UQAM 0-5

OUA East Toronto's important road win at Queen's puts some distance between the Top 3 in the division and the fourth-place Gaels however Queen's is comfortably in fourth after defeating Ryerson. A three-team "battle" for the sixth and final playoff spot should emerge in the coming weeks as 1-9 York, 1-9 Laurentian and 0-10 RMC are still in the hunt. This coming weekend's RMC at York and RMC at Laurentian matchups may evolve the race into a two-teamer. Carleton visits Toronto where historically they have found the Varsity Blues gym a relatively tough place to play.

Carleton 10-0
Ottawa 9-1
Toronto 8-2
Queen's 6-4
Ryerson 4-6
Laurentian 1-9
York 1-9
RMC 0-10

OUA West Guelph has a two game lead atop the standings after a huge road win at Windsor, where the Lancers were unbeatable last season. Western appears to have turned the corner while Brock is looking to get through the next 2 games on the road before returning to the friendly confines of Bob Davis Gym for 8 of their last 11 games of the regular season. McMaster and their newest addition in the middle will be heard from while Laurier got a big confidence-building win at home and now must prove they can dig in away from home to contend for a home playoff game. Lakehead and Waterloo have played each other and now must keep defeating teams that last season finished ahead of them.

Guelph 7-2
Lakehead 5-5
Brock 5-4
Windsor 5-4
Western 4-5
Waterloo 4-6
Laurier 4-5
McMaster 4-5

Canada West Brandon rebounded from a lacklustre holiday tournament performance with a pair of resounding wins at home and have all but clinched first place in the Great Plains division with the only mystery being which team will host the semi-final playoffs: Regina or Winnipeg as Manitoba is all but done after the first weekend of play in January. Calgary's important come-from-behind win at Alberta on Saturday gives them a three-game lead (including holding the tie-breaker against the Bears) in the Central but Saskatchewan still has games remaining to make up ground. Note that the winner of the Central division playoffs hosts the Canada West Final Four for the 2 conference spots at the Nationals. It is safe to say that all 3 of Calgary, Alberta and Saskatchewan should make the playoffs. In the Pacific, Vic's loss makes it that much more difficult to finish first and grab home court for the playoffs which was a factor last season when UBC swept the Vikes in Vancouver in the division championship. Trinity Western's win over Vic was critical for their playoff hopes and with Fraser Valley slipping after an encouraging start, the Spartans can again hope for a return to the post season. Simon Fraser has recovered after a tough start and now has Vic in their sights in the battle for second place. The Clan can bring UBC back to the pack with a win this coming Tuesday night against the T-Birds.

Calgary 10-2
Alberta 8-4
Saskatchewan 7-5
Lethbridge 0-12
Great Plains
Brandon 11-1
Regina 7-5
Winnipeg 6-6
Manitoba 1-11
UBC 10-2
Victoria 10-4
Simon Fraser 7-5
Trinity Western 5-9
UCFV 5-9
Thompson Rivers 1-13

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