Sunday, 2 March 2008

Final 8 Update

Before we get into the update, here is a release from Capital Tickets regarding ticket availability for the Nationals Individual tickets on sale on Monday for CIS Men's basketball Final 8 presented by Milk

One more team officially booked their ticket for Ottawa yesterday as the Western Mustangs continued their string of solid play by handling Brock right in St. Catharines, bringing to four the number of teams which have officially qualified for the Nationals. Here is the latest on the Final 8 (in order of qualification only):

1. Carleton (host)
2. UBC (Canada West champions)
3. Alberta (Canada West finalists)
4. Western (OUA West champions)
5. Brock or Ottawa (OUA third entry)
6. Laval, Concordia or McGill (QSSF entry)
7. AUS tournament champion
8. Wild Card/At-large berth

While it is still premature in my opinion to engage in a detailed debate about which team should be granted the wild card, some level is clarity is beginning to enter the discussion. The winner of Ottawa at Brock, expected to be played next Saturday at 2 PM in St. Catharines, will be the fifth team to officially qualify. It would be difficult but not impossible to consider the team that loses as a wild card possibility. If, as expected, Laval wins the Quebec conference (le Rouge et Or still have to win this afternoon's semi-final game against McGill and then defeat Concordia next weekend), then le Rouge et Or would be the sixth team to qualify; but if they lose along the way, especially in the championship game, Laval would merit consideration based primarily on a tremendous second half of the season. Out east, Acadia is the favorite based on a tremendous regular season (only 2 losses). But if somehow the Axemen trip up on the way either in the semi-final or final, they would absolutely have to be part of the wild card discussion. Brandon's win over Calgary last night theoretically puts them in a more favorable position than the Dinos, especially after having defeated them twice this season including last night right in Calgary. OUA teams Toronto and Windsor, both coming off 17-5 seasons with solid non-conference records believe they should be in the discussion. St. FX among others in the AUS, assuming they don't win the AUS tournament outright, will build a case. Selecting this season's wild card is building up to be one of the more difficult and potentially controversial choices in recent memory. Over the course of the week, we'll build on this list and take a look at some of the cases for and against certain contenders for the wild card spot. As well, we'll look to bring more clarity on the official process and criteria that the committee will sift through next Sunday night in advance of officially naming the 8th team to get to the Nationals.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've harped about the Quebec Conference so it's no surprise that I don't think Laval should get the wild-card if they lose in the playoffs. Their great second half record is meaningless; it has been entirely against teams in their very weak conference. It's akin to a tier 2 high school team in Ontario saying they should be invited to AAAA OFSAA because they're undefeated in league play.

Right now, Brandon has to be the clear favourite. Their upset against Alberta doesn't change the fact that they are the most talented team out West. The only other team that might challenge them is Acadia if they lose but that would have as much to do with the selection committee trying to balance the berths as it would with picking the best team.

I would have included the loser of Brock/Ottawa in this discussion if it was any western team but Brandon and it there wasn't s much resentment out there about Carleton's automatic bid. However, as that isn't the case, I think it really comes down to Brandon and everyone else.

How do the rankings work this year? In the past, the six automatic qualifiers were 1-6 and the two wild-cards were 7 and 8. However, with the definition of automatic qualifier a little different this year, is it 1-7 and 8th for the true wild-card or is it more open ended than that?

Jayme reid said...

I just can't see there beeing 4 ontario teams.

Anonymous said...

The fact there is a play-in game for the OUA divisional runners-up more or less puts to rest any notion of 4 Ontario teams in the tournament.
If the format was Final 10, 4 would get in, but since it's back to eight again, no way.
Any talk of Toronto or Windsor or Calgary getting is just that... for those three teams.
It's Brandon's unless Acadia loses the AUS final, and I emphasize the AUS final. If Acadia loses its semi, then tough luck.
So if I was a Bobcat supporter, I am pulling for Acadia to get the job done and end all discussions.

Mista Cee said...

alright, alright, hold up, wait a minute ... Living in Ontario and having watched every single team in the OUA play, I am baffled by this idea that 4 OUA teams should not get into the tournament. It is, WITHOUT QUESTION (and I challenge anyone to dispute this with hard numbers and evidence), the BEST conference in the CIS. Not only does it have the undefeatable Ravens, it has had SEVEN of their 16 teams in the top 10 at one point this year. There is no other conference that can claim such a percentage.
Now, I would think out of the 4 teams from Ontario that should be considered for the Wild Card (Brock/Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor), Toronto should have the best chance. They had the best regular season record at 17-5, along with Windsor, but beat the Lancers head-to-head. They also beat Brock and Ottawa on the road and beat the latter 2 out of 3 times. They were ranked in the top 10 eleven of the fourteen weeks, more than any of the above. I think the only time they dropped out was after losing to Guelph in overtime on the road (when Guelph was ranked #7) and beating Brock at Bob Davis gym.
Now, with respect to Brandon and Calgary … they beat Calgary head-to-head on a neutral court. As for Brandon, while they never played, I think their record compares favourably to Brandon’s 20-2 since they are in the toughest conference in the country (having to play the Champs twice and even having led at the half at Raven’s Nest) and Brandon gets to play Manitoba and Regina FOUR times each!!

Anonymous said...

Forgetting any seeding requirements for division champs and assuming the favourites win, how do you rank the Final 8 contenders? I would rate them:

1. Carleton
2. Brandon
3. UBC
4. Acadia
5. Ottawa
6. Alberta
7. Western
8. Laval

or...

1. Carleton
2. Brandon
3. UBC
4. Acadia
5. Alberta
6. Brock
7. Western (I know they beat Windsor and Brock but I don't think they can repeat the result at CIS.)
8. Laval

Remember, I'm talking about chances of winning the CIS, not how the seeding committee will actually rank them.

jayme said...

Mista

1)Should there be 4 ontario teams only its very hard to say.If that 4team had a good reg season with a good play off run then maybe.

Wild cards
1)Brandon should and most will get it.They had a good reg season and upset calgary in the final 4.

2)Ottawa For some reason losses on saturday they should be looked at.A good reg season taking carleton to the limit in a couple game and knocking of toronto in the play offs.

3)Toronto has the worst chance of getting the wild card for a few reason.The reg season is a bit of a factor but no the only factor.Toronto had a good reg saeason but got knocked off early by ottawa the geegee were 3rd place toronto 2nd that will not go over all that will with the cis selection crew.If it was the other wat around that would be a plus for toronto.As for toronto beating ottawa in the reg season thats is not a up set.

With that said and they do go with a 4th ont team.It would be ottawa as they made it tot the oua east final.How would it look if they took toronto who lost in the quarter finals that would not be taking the best team.