A blocked field goal was the missed play on Stefan Ptaszek and the McMaster Marauders' back seat when they opened the 2015 campaign.

After dropping the 2014 Vanier Cup 20-19 to the Montréal Carabins, the Marauders waltz into the season looking for that one play and another chance.

"The way we lost, we feel like we were one play short of a Vanier Cup championship ... I hope all of our coaches and athletes look to have one more play in them. If we get that close again, we find that play," Ptaszek said.

McMaster opened Sunday, Aug. 30 against arguably one of the best vertical pass games in the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, but shut down all assets they had in a 55-33 victory.

The secondary is tested right away — which could determine how much work needs to be done. Nick Shorthill and a very senior secondary have hung up their maroon jerseys. A new secondary comes in with minimal experience, and will be working to find their stride.

Highly touted quarterback Asher Hastings will be the number one man in the pocket — but hasn't really seen much competition standing behind Marshall Ferguson and Kyle Quinlan for the past few seasons. But Hastings showed his arm in week 1, sending an 89-yard bullet down the field for one of five touchdowns. He finished with 384 total yards.

But how quick can it be done? There was still some sloppy play, and this isn't the same calibre of Marauder we've come to know.

"I can't pretend we'll be a Vanier Cup group week one," Ptaszek said. "Don't judge us by where we start, judge us by where we finish."

McMaster's not the only team that may not be a Vanier Cup contender from the beginning. The Carabins, despite hoisting the cup for the first time in franchise history, lost a lot from their arsenal during the offseason. Byron Archambault, one of the best linebackers in the game, was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. A relatively lengthy list of former players graduated.

The Carabins are all about jumping off the Vanier Cup hangover and finding their groove.

"The 2016 edition of the Montreal Carabins are going to have their own identity," said head coach Danny Maciocia. "We were still able to keep the foundation for the most part in place for this year's team, but every year, every team develops its own identity. We still feel like we're going to be competitive, we still feel like we'll have an opportunity to win football games on a weekly basis, but obviously it's an edition that's going to be finding its own identity."

"For the most part, it's a new slate. We've got some new guys in here and some talented young men and they're going to have an opportunity to establish themselves within the Carabins family," Maciocia continued.

But the two top teams from the 2014 campaign aren't the only ones with question marks.

The Windsor Lancers have lost the stellar quarterback in Austin Kennedy and their weaponry in Evan Pszczonak — and felt the impact of it in an embarrassing 76-7 loss to the highly-skilled Western Mustangs.

The list is endless of changes, modifications and improvements — making week one's Top 10 pick one of the hardest across the board for voters.

The only confident prediction may be to say the Western Mustangs — permitted they stay healthy — could be a great contender for the Vanier Cup.

But with the OUA as the only conference that has opened up play, it'll be interesting to see who comes forward from the rest of the league — and lifts the coveted trophy.


Shelby's first week Top 10:
1) Montreal
2) McMaster
3) Western
4) Laval
5) Guelph
6) Manitoba
7) Mount Allison
8) Calgary
9) Saskatchewan
10) UBC

CIS first week Top 10:
1. Montreal (-)
2. Laval (-)
3. Western (-)
4. Calgary (-)
5. McMaster (-)
6. Guelph (-)
7. UBC(-)
8. Saskatchewan (-)
9. Mount Allison (-)
10. Manitoba (-)







Carleton, Phil Scrubb: still great

This game was a wash early on. The Huskies couldn't defend, Phil Scrubb was en fuego and Carleton was locked in defensively. Carleton won 90-50.

There's not much use digging too deep here, as Sask didn't seem up to task to guard anyone. The Scrubbs shouldered most of the scoring load, combining for 49 points on 19-31 shooting. It should be noted that this game felt more like a 9 a.m. tip-off for the Huskies because of the travel and time difference. That doesn't explain the 40-point disparity.

Carleton's defence was good and forced Mike Scott into tough shots. Scott's selection did not put him in a spot to be successful either, but Carleton shut down their other options, so it is hard to blame the guard for shooting.

Also: this game's stream until the second quarter, apparently. I only tuned in then, so I didn't notice any issues. Gotta hope stream problems get fixed since they will be charging for the semis and finals.

Vic-Dal was a "basketball" "game" at the national championships

I didn't enjoy this at all.

Some were praising the game, but it wasn't great to watch. Missed shots, botched open lay-ups, inconsistent officiating. Vic had their opportunities to blow this open, missing a bunch of shots in the fourth. The McLaughlin-Tibbs pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop was effective in getting players open, but I thought that Tibbs missed McLaughlin in favour of taking his own shots sometimes. McLaughlin is an above-average three-point shooter and even though he struggled, I thought Vic could have done a better job getting him the ball, perhaps using more screens or running alternative looks. Your first-team All-Canadian needs to get more than 10 shots in 30 minutes of play.

Dalhousie gave it everything they had, though. Their defence did make play tough for McLaughlin, but Ritchie Kanza Mata was the standout from my perspective. I thought he might get in the jersey of Tibbs but he surpassed those expectations, giving Tibbs little room to start dribbling or see the court.

But the Tigers lacked shooting and finishing, which, as it turns out, are two very important parts of scoring the ball. They fed Kashrell Lawrence and he played well, but asking him to lead your team to victory when he's matched up with a much taller defender is stacking the deck in your opponent's favour. Lawrence even put Dal up 1 at the end with a put back.

After McLaughlin got wrapped up on a roll to the basket (which would have been an intentional foul at any point but the final possession of the game) and made his free throws. Here's a (dim) screenshot of the McLaughlin foul:


I'd argue there isn't any play on the ball here, and the real-time play suggest this too. McLaughlin made both free throws and gave them the lead.

But Dal had an opportunity to win it. Six seconds left on the game clock is a decent amount of time to run something and get someone open. It ended in a contested three-point attempt from a player who averages 0.6 three-point attempts per game. Suboptimal.


With that missed shot, the Tigers exit the championship-side tournament, and Vic moves on to play Carleton. Vic will need to move past this game immediately if they want to sniff the Ravens.

Ryerson blows out Windsor with big third quarter

On home court, the Rams crushed the Lancers. I was fortunate to be in person for this game and the crowd had their moments, but it wasn't the same advantage you would expect for a home team. It was a nervous optimism for a while, both in the stands and on the court.

Both teams played timid, missing easy looks and making odd passes. Ryerson settled in later in the first quarter. That's a little surprising because they have the home pressure. When they got comfortable running in transition, Windsor wavered and you could feel the Rams's confidence rising.

I speculated in my preview that Adika Peter-McNeilly could provide for the Rams, and provide he did. He rebounded well, made good decisions and showed a lot of poise for someone in their first nationals game.

Windsor tried to crash the glass. They had their fair share of offensive rebounding opportunities because they only shot 36.6% from the floor, but Ryerson locked things down. Peter-McNeilly led the team with ten boards, all on the defensive end.

You could see the result coming after the first quarter, where Windsor only scored 10. They put up a fight, but at the end of the season, with another game under their belt because of playoffs, the team just didn't have the roster depth to keep up. Khalid Abdel-Gabar got in foul trouble and without a lead guard, the Lancers floundered. The team strayed from their offence, playing in emergency-mode for a decent amount of time. Shots were both contested and rushed because of the deficit.

Now, I thought Ryerson wasn't using a ton of on-ball screens. This is key because of Windsor's desire to switch all screens. Instead of pick-and-roll, the Rams relied on off-ball plays to free up a player and allow that player to attack the defender who should be unsettled. It worked well, as the Rams drove to finish at the rim or initiate contact.

I don't think Windsor is as bad as this game showed. However, they were screwed by the dated seeding rules. Yes, you have to beat the great teams to win, but you should be rewarded with an easier opponent if you are the No. 2 seed. This is logical stuff. If you're reading this, it's too late: for all intents and purposes, Windsor's tournament is over and they'll lose two key players (Khalid Abdel-Gabar and Evan Matthews). I'd argue those are their thinnest positions too.

Bishop's provides the potential game of the tournament

It is gutting for me to write about this. I just feel brutal for the Bishop's team, players and fans.

Halfway through the second quarter, as the Gaiters put on a 22-1 run, you could just feel the gym shift. It was a busy crowd, even though the Ryerson locals had left already. Bishop's brought a ton of support. I swear, everyone in Toronto who could find Lennoxville, Que. on a map was in at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. (So, a couple hundred people.)

But the purple-clad fans won the hearts of the casual observers and it pushed the players a bit more. Bishop's pushed up on screens, trying to take the ball out of the dribbler's hands. This isn't a great strategy because of Ottawa's ability to swing the ball to open players, but it worked for a few reasons.

1) Ottawa didn't fully move the ball. They would make passes, but it would stick a bit and shots were forced.
2) Ottawa couldn't hit their open shots. This was a trend, as the Gaiters and Ravens were the two teams to really hit from behind the arc. That Bishop's hit well from 3 is a surprise because they shot 27.9% from the land beyond this season. That's 42nd out of 47 teams. 10 made threes was a season-high for the Gaiters.
3) Bishop's had clean rotations. I slammed their defensive rating a bit in the preview, and I stand by what I said, but they did play very well and closed out well. If you're going to play that pick and roll defence, you need smart, quick players. From one game, it looks like Bishop's had it.

Now, Bishop's offence wasn't convincing either. But they crashed the glass hard and bailed out stagnant possessions. For those keeping score, in two of the past three games, Ottawa has been hammered on the glass.

What did the Gaiters in was the fouling out of Kyle Desmarais. Had he stayed in, I think the final two minutes wouldn't have been laden with turnovers and poor passes. But Ottawa attacked him and got him out of the game. His exit led to the key play of the game; a Caleb Agada steal and a crucial block/charge call that put Agada on the line.




That's a tough call to make. There was no sense of control from the Gaiters though. They were hanging on in the final minutes and I don't think a ref would have much confidence this after watching Bishop's come apart.

I do think it was a block. Paused at the 20 second mark, you can see the Gaiter player going down and leaning in to get contact. He also made a play to get the loose ball, so I doubt he was bracing to take a charge and be in position.

So, Agada hit both free throws and the Gaiters ran nothing with 10.5 seconds left. The shot was just a huck, and I think that play is as important as the block/charge. We can question the refs, but Bishop's final play execution, or lack thereof, deserves criticism too. I thought that if the Gaiters didn't make a shot after Agada's free throws, Ottawa would run away in OT. That's exactly what happened.

Ottawa escapes and have a lot of questions that need answers. James Derouin says they'll keep shooting. I agree with that, but I think rebounding is what they need to emphasize.

Bishop's put up a fight and for that, they deserve serious, honest credit. They played well, hit open shots and should have won.

Any kind of discussion about where RSEQ basketball falls in the CIS hierarchy is premature. This is one game. Bishop's put up a fight against Windsor too, but lost. The disparity between Quebec teams and those contending for a national championship may not be as big as we think, but to say it doesn't exist is massive leap given the decade-long CIS tournament drought and this year's weak non-conference play.

Bring on the championship games. Could be one of the best semifinal/final we've seen in a while.
Part two of the previews, just in time for Dal-Vic!

VICTORIA v. DALHOUSIE 


Victoria
Dalhousie
ORtg
104.9
100.7
DRtg
94.1
101.2
NetRtg
10.8
-0.5
RPI
6
15
1. Who is Dalhousie's answer for Chris McLaughlin?

Fifth-year Chris McLaughlin is an inside-outside threat that can clean the glass and start fast breaks. At 6-10, he towers over the Dalhousie roster because of an injury that ended 6-8 Devon Steadman's season. Dal isn't good defensively -- they have the worst DRtg in the tournament -- and their best rebounder is Kashrell Lawrence, listed at 6-2. I think Dal will resort to a zone defence to prevent McLaughlin from getting easy touches.

2. How will Marcus Tibbs respond to AUS defensive MVP Ritchie Kanza Mata? 

I'm going to guess that Mata guards Tibbs in this one. Tibbs is the second-leading scorer for the Vikes and averages five assists per game. He's the engine of this offence so slowing him down could force others to make decisions. I doubt the Vikes would want this, as Tibbs is pretty good at breaking down a defence and finding open players if he can't finish the play himself. Mata has been disruptive on defence and when watching those AUS championships, you could see how difficult he makes life for opposing guards. Playing in his hometown, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mata get into the jersey of Tibbs and unsettle him a bit with high-energy play.

3. Dalhousie will have to score a good amount, but can they?

The Tigers went 3-3 in non-conference play and put on a great run to win the AUS championship. But the Vikes are the best team they have played in months. I'm skeptical of Dal's ability to score against the Vikes, especially after watching the Tigers stall out for periods and take bad shots in the playoffs. If Dal executes, they can hang around.

Prediction: Victoria 74, Dalhousie 58

OTTAWA v. BISHOP’S


Ottawa
Bishop’s
ORtg
129.1
85.2
DRtg
94.2
81.9
NetRtg
35.0
3.3
RPI
3
23

1. Is Bishop's defence as good as their DRtg?

Simple answer: no. The average offensive rating in RSEQ is in the mid-to-low 80s, so of course Bishop's defensive rating will be lower. It's nearly impossible for me to make an accurate assessment of their defence because I do not watch Quebec basketball. But I feel comfortable saying their defence is not as good as the number suggests, but based on non-conference numbers, it is still pretty good. 

In pre-season action, Bishop's held Ottawa to 80 points. That is a great number, considering it's well-below their season average. The problem will be offence. Ottawa is a good, not great, defensive group but the Gaiters aren't a great offensive outfit.

2. Where will Bishop's get their points?

Yeah. An 85.2 ORtg isn't really going to get you that far in this tournament. The Gaiters don't shoot a ton from the arc which is actually a curious trait of RSEQ basketball. I did some research at the holiday break and found 3-point-attempts per game were trending upwards, but the Q doesn't shoot much (yet). So, I figure the Gaiters will attack off the dribble, but Ottawa has the athletes to contain perimeter penetration.

3. Is there anyway Ottawa loses this game?

If they don't respect Bishop's like they should, it could be close. I doubt that will happen because Ottawa had a bad weekend in the OUA Final Four and this is the last tournament for major parts of their roster. They will want to prove themselves here, especially after media day was spent answering questions about being second fiddle to Carleton. Also, Bishop's went 0-6 in non-conference play. 

Prediction: Ottawa 91, Bishop's 51.
This is part one of the CIS Final 8 men's basketball preview. I wanted to have all the games in one piece, but Wednesdays and Tuesday are busy days at my student newspaper job and something came up, so I'm just finishing these. I'll be putting the others up tomorrow. I'll also be providing some takes on Saturday and Sunday from the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Note: ORtg, DRtg and NetRtg are numbers from cishoopdata.blogspot.ca. I just found this and it's a great resource.

CARLETON v. SASKATCHEWAN



Carleton
Sask
ORtg
128.2
108.5
DRtg
81.5
97.1
NetRtg
46.7
11.0
RPI
1
7

1. Can Saskatchewan guard the Ravens?

Only a couple teams contained Carleton all year, but they used athleticism to get the job done. I’ve watched the Huskies play and Sask reverted to a 2-3 zone a couple times because their man-to-man defence failed to limit penetration. I’m curious as to who guards Tommy Scrubb. Matt Forbes and Dadrian Collins match-up size-wise, but it is yet to be seen how they can defend the crafty T-Scrubb.

In an interview with OUA Today, head coach Barry Rawlyk said his team plans to take a balanced approach, crediting the variety of weapons the Ravens have. Sask has the second-highest DRtg in the tournament, and Carleton has the second highest ORtg. This one doesn’t look great. 

2. How will Carleton defend?

Sask doesn’t really rely on anyone for scoring, they have five players averaging double-figures. Carleton can choose to eliminate one of them from the game -- they have the personnel to do that -- but the team is balanced enough that others can shoulder the load. That being said, the Huskies like to shoot, ranking in the top ten for 3s made per game. Threes are a classic recipe for tournament upsets, and Sask has been stroking it from the land beyond. In five of their last six games, the No. 8 seed has made 10 or more 3s, and they even had a game where they shot a ridiculous 16-28. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens run Sask of the line and challenge them to beat Tommy Scrubb and the combo of Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles, Guillaume Payen-Boucard and, to a lesser extent, Cam Smythe.

3. What should you watch for??

I just don’t know if Sask can defend Carleton. If Carleton starts out well offensively, the Huskies may go into desperation mode. This past weekend proved that the Ravens can use Connor Wood or Victor Raso as a main weapon and still be damn efficient. Phil Scrubb is as good as he ever was, and I’m not sure about the perimeter defence of Sask, especially after watching the UBC game.


Prediction: Carleton 89, Sask 73


WINDSOR v. RYERSON

Windsor
Ryerson
ORtg
106.2
115
DRtg
89.8
85.4
NetRtg
16.4
29.6
RPI
4
2


Regular season match-up: Nov. 15 - Ryerson won 95-75

1. Big question for Windsor: How do they score?


The Lancers offensive issues were put in the spotlight in that Carleton game. Sure, the Ravens cracked the century mark, but Windsor only scored 59. Ryerson is no Carleton defensively, but the Lancers problems are a bit internal. Mitch Farrell has struggled recently but maintained his shooting touch. Khalid Abdel-Gabar and Alex Campbell stepped up as Rotimi Osuntola Jr. was effectively eliminated in the Final Four, scoring 13 points total. But the Rams have good rim protectors and long defenders that can be disruptive on the perimeter.


Windsor used leak-outs and transition offence to score against Mac and Ottawa. Ryerson will play up-tempo, but they are comfortable playing a more controlled brand of offence too.

2. Who does Ryerson run their offence through?

Ryerson has options. Jahmal Jones and Aaron Best are solid, but Adika Peter-McNeilly has played well in the playoffs, finishing second in the scoring average. Mike Rocca and Osuntola Jr. lead the perimeter defence, but the most interesting part of the Lancers scheme is their treatment of screens. Windsor switches everything, which would make sense for a team that plays small and has swift frontcourt players. Evan Matthews does not meet that description yet it works. Teams have tried to drag Matthews out in screen-and-roll switches and then attack him in isolation but it has been less effective than you think. McMaster and Ottawa seriously struggled to get good looks because Windsor has good help instincts and a roster with guys that possess above-average closing speed. Ryerson has to figure out where they attack and what player they think will make the best decisions when they see a switch.


3. What should you watch for?


Rebounding. Rebounding. REBOUNDING.


This is the way Windsor makes up for the lack of pure scorers. They crash the boards hard, relying on their athleticism to get them extra possessions. The Lancers can keep a lot of missed shots alive, tipping it up and knocking the basketball loose. Ryerson absolutely must keep guys like Matthews and Osuntola off the offensive glass. If they do this, it will make the road to the championship side of the bracket easier.

Prediction: Ryerson 78, Windsor 69


As "Super Championship Weekend" approaches, you may be getting your ducks in a row to watch take in all of that sweet, (mostly) home-grown #content. If you have Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360, you'll be fine. If not, there's CIS-SIC.tv.

But you've been warned: there's a paywall (again) for the semifinals and finals of all the games. Each tournament costs $6.95. Dale Stevens's Canadian University Basketball Discussion List email thread reminded me of the fee and he questioned the logic behind the paywall.

He got me thinking, so I asked the CIS about their policy and, well, their hands are tied. The league confirmed, via email, that Sportsnet says they must charge for the livestream. At first blush, I get it. Sportsnet wants people to subscribe to their channels and they don't want fans going online and getting the content for free. Who is going to buy a cable package for one weekend of CIS sports? No one. But that's an oversimplification; Sportsnet wants to have another feather in their cap for people considering a subscription. They can market it: "NHL! NBA! MLB! CIS! We are your home for sports!" etc.

But if Sportsnet wants to really push the CIS brand as selling point, then they have to make the whole product accessible because right now, I don't think the CIS is going to fire anyone up and influence their decision. They already cut OUA football and basketball because of viewership numbers.

And if you do have a Sportsnet subscription, why would you go to a livestream? If the paywall is to drive people to TV, I don't think it will work. A game on television is better than a laptop, but are people deciding between the two, or using a livestream out of necessity? Honest question.

Something else to keep in mind, more from a CIS perspective when negotiating the next TV deal: students are frugal with their money, even though they do have disposable income. Cost itself is a barrier -- we just don't want to take out a credit card and pay for stuff. So, a pop-up asking for money will likely turn off prospective viewers. Does anyone benefit from this?

I think the CIS product is good and when I introduce it to people, they agree. The paywall prevents people getting introduced to the product and both parties just spin their tires from a public awareness standpoint. To move the CIS brand forward, Sportsnet's championships paywall should be reevaluated. I'd argue it is in Sportsnet's best interest to open up those games to introduce those who actually want to see the product and hope that people enjoy the games enough to make the CIS a marketable sports entity.
After one of the tighter semifinals I can remember, the bronze and Wilson Cup games ended in anti-climactic fashion.

First, Ottawa finally returned to form against Ryerson, winning 79-66. It took them until the third quarter -- with Johnny Berhanemeskel dragging his team along until then -- for Ottawa to get back to their typical up-tempo, ball-swinging ways that we have seen all season.

The Rams were never really able to make their imprint on this game, I thought. Yes, they got to the line 21 times, but when Ottawa was drifting, Ryerson failed to take over. Credit the Gee-Gees defence  though; Ryerson shot 38% from the floor and 5-17 from three.

Berhanemeskel blew the game open by engaging the Ottawa crowd with 13 straight points in the middle of the third. After that, Montpetit Hall was rocking and the Gee-Gees would start to click.

Ottawa held a 54-46 lead after three and then won the fourth quarter 25-20 to beat Ryerson 79-66.

This means the Gee-Gees are OUA bronze medallists, but more importantly, have a chance at a higher seed. More on that in a bit.

Carleton ends Windsor's Wilson Cup hopes with authority

The Ravens have won their 9th Wilson Cup in the past 13 years, blowing out the Lancers, 103-59.

A monster second quarter from Carleton was the difference. They dropped 39 points in the period by crashing the glass and getting multiple looks on their offensive trips. Down 61-38, Windsor never really had a chance in the second.

Carleton started the second half with an 18-2 run, effectively sealing the championship.

Victor Raso was the stand-out Raven, dropping 21 points on 5-6 shooting from the floor, 4-5 from three, and 7-8 from the line. It's the second night in a row where a non-Scrubb has stepped up in a major way. The idea of putting more offensive responsibility on the non-Scrubb players has looked like a bad one, as Connor Wood and Raso have put up excellent numbers with increased touches.

When Windsor beat Carleton in the regular season, they crushed them on the glass. Carleton flipped that today, out-boarding the Lancers 52-29 (!!!).

I tried to pump the brakes a bit in my preview post about Windsor's rebounding abilities. Yes, Windsor is the number one rebounding team in the conference, but when you look at rebounding percentage, Windsor wasn't much different than Ottawa. Part of that is because Windsor shoots a significantly worse percentage, giving them more opportunities on the offensive glass. As Windsor held opponents to low shooting percentages, the same can be applied to defensive rebounds. This isn't a criticism of them, it's just a fact.

I think Dave Smart's team did a much better job on the glass for a couple of reasons; 1) they were probably just simply better prepared to hit the glass, and you saw better boxing out 2) it was team-wide rebounding instead of two main players. Raso and Guillaume Boucard had nine boards each. In the regular season game, that pair only had four rebounds total.

Let's talk about seeds 

Bold, bold prediction: this is the last year we see the Acadia rule, meaning, conference champs can't get seeded lower than 6.

Why? Because the issue is simply too large to go unaddressed. As Dave Smart points out in Neate Sager's recap from last night that rule is from a different time:

"The [Top 6] rule was put in originally when it was a 10-team tournament and we didn't want conference winners to have to play on Thursday night," added Smart, whose Ravens won the OUA Wilson Cup with a 103-59 win over Windsor on Saturday night at Montpetit Hall in Ottawa. "Then we went back to eight teams and at that point, the seeding should be the seeding, but it stayed in ... now we should just rank the teams 1-8." 
And now, look at the quality of conference champion. Dalhousie is 10-10 in AUS regular season play.  Bishop's was 8-8 in their RSEQ regular season. What makes those .500 teams look worse is when you consider how the conference performed against other leagues.

RSEQ finished 6th of 8 CIS basketball divisions. This treats the OUA and CW divisions as separate groups, which is fair because the sizes are the same. The Quebec conference did not beat a top-ten opponent in non-conference. Bishop's didn't win a game against non-RSEQ competition. Also relevant: RSEQ has not won a first-round Final 8 game since 2005.

From a non-conference perspective, the AUS is no better. They are last in CIS basketball divisions with a winning percentage of 35%. To the conference's credit, there are two wins over Calgary, who were in the CIS Top Ten discussion. Dalhousie fared better than Bishop's in non-conference, going 3-3, with losses to Ryerson, Ottawa and York.

There are obvious problems here. From a competitive standpoint, it hurts the product. From a marketing standpoint, it hurts the product. From an on-court talent perspective, it hurts the product. I just can't see the CIS repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with this rule, especially when there is media noise from the most respected coaches in the league.

So, with those rules in mind, here is my final seeding prediction.


  1. Carleton
  2. Windsor (Have to respect regional playoffs, Windsor beat Ottawa, can't see the committee tossing that game aside)
  3. Ottawa (at-large berth)
  4. Victoria
  5. Dalhousie (For reasons outlined above, Dal gets the 5)
  6. Bishop's
  7. Ryerson (Yes, this means all-OUA match-up, but a match-up we haven't seen since November. Keep in mind, the committee put Mac against Carleton in the 2-7 game last year and those teams had not played since November. There's precedent for my guess.)
  8. Saskatchewan
Some spare thoughts
  • Ryerson beat Saskatchewan by 20 (in October, to be fair) so I can't see Ryerson being seeded 8 to replay Carleton
  • I had the CanWest winner at 3 with Ottawa at the 4 yesterday, but a friend pointed out that Ottawa would then meet Carleton in the second round. Doubt the committee wants that.
  • I hope the 3-6 and 4-5 games are during the day because I've got class and would hate to miss the more competitive 1-8, 2-7 games. (That sentence alone should cause seeding rule changes)
Here's the caveat to all of my CIS seeding speculation: I haven't followed CIS hoops as long as most of you reading this. I don't know the tendencies of the committees and what they value, I'm just looking at the criteria and guessing from that.

Seeds for the Final 8 come out at 3 p.m. today. Enjoy!












We've got a ton of games going on this weekend. The CIS Super Championship weekend has forced conferences to putting all of the big games in a tight window. It is suboptimal (at best) but we're playing the hand we're dealt.

The best way to recap all of it is linking to outside work. If I missed something (which is likely!) please comment or send me an email and I can put it in. I'm trying to stick to media outlet links rather than sports info posts because more clicks for a media outlet means a greater chance the CIS gets more coverage.

OUA Men's Final Four

The National Post's Eric Koreen takes a look at Ryerson's rise to contention. Dave Smart's quotes about kids going Division-1 give something to chew on.

CIS Blog alum Neate Sager's gamers talk about seeding, four OUA teams at nationals and more. Windsor-Ottawa. Carleton-Ryerson.

The Ottawa Sun's Tim Baines with gamers and quotes from both games. I liked his description of Carleton at the end of his Ravens-Rams piece. Also, Ottawa's head coach, James Derouin, had an interesting perspective on hosting the Final Four. That quote falls two-thirds of the way into this recap of Windsor-Ottawa.

Ryerson's student paper, The Eyeopener, has a Rye-heavy perspective with an awesome Phil Scrubb photo.

Got more? Let me know. @Scott1Hastie

OUA Women's Final Four 

I couldn't have watched all four games at once and done a good job covering it. Windsor thrashed Lakehead because of a Jylisa Williams injury. The Lancers, in the post-Clemencon+Langlois era, qualify for nationals.

Queen's saw their season come to an end at the hands of the Ryerson Rams. From what I gather, the Ryerson women's basketball program has never won an OUA championship and their 69-60 win gives them that opportunity.

Here's the TBNewsWatch perspective on the end of Lakehead's season and the Jylisa Williams's career. Quotes from Lakehead coach Jon Kreiner in there too.

Meanwhile, Bob Duff at the Windsor Star talks with Lancer players about the blowout win and where they go from here. There's a video interview at the top too! Check out that print media evolution.

Claude Scilley has a quick write-up about the Gaels loss.

Here's The Eyeopener again with their inside look at how the Rams are feeling. Loved the variety of perspectives here - quotes from Carly Clarke, Keneca Pingue-Giles and Annie Sokoloff.

CanWest Men's Final Four

CanWestHoops.com has game briefs on the CW semifinals.

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix's Darren Zary provides a gamer on Sask's qualification win. (This was a good game down the stretch, but broadcast quality was lacking, as noted by CanWestHoops.)

UVic's win over UFV garners coverage in the Times-Colonist.

CanWest Women's Final Four 

I couldn't find anything about the CW women's games. The games weren't particularly close though; Saskatchewan beat Victoria 77-61, UBC handled Alberta 72-59. Of note: Sask head coach Lisa Thomaidis said this is the best Huskie team she has had.

CanWest men's hockey championship

The Edmonton Sun's Brian Swane (who does exceptional work covering Canadian basketball, specifically the women's national team) the takes a look at Alberta's win over Calgary.

CanWest women's hockey 

Nothing media wise here either. Here's the CanWest write-up. Alberta takes game one 4-0.

RSEQ women's basketball

Concordia's season came to an end, as UQAM beat the Stingers 54-47. Check out The Link's gamer.

McGill and UQAM meet in the RSEQ finals today.

RSEQ men's basketball Final Four

Not much to dig up here either. McGill will play Bishop's for a CIS Final 8 berth.




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