The ranked teams fell like prices at Boxing Week sales at the holiday tournaments. No. 2 Acadia, No. 5 Brandon and No. 6 Saint Mary's each lost today.
Two of the three games -- No. 7 Calgary's decisive 79-69 win over Acadia (who judging by the stats, kept it within 10 thanks mostly to their big man, Leonel Saintil) out in Winnipeg and Ottawa's one-point, 82-81 victory over hometown Saint Mary's at the Rod Shoveller tournament down in Halifax -- turned out exactly as the RPI would have predicted. (Seriously, is it too much to ask for the CIS to post this on their website, along with overall records vs. CIS teams, not just league records?)
Calgary, led by brothers Henry and Ross Bekkering up front, is second in RPI, so their beating the Axemen is no shock. For what it's worth, it says here if the Final 8 was held next weekend, a Calgary-Carleton final would be fairly plausible. (If there is a such a matchup come the middle of March, who would Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who's such a big sports nut, cheer for -- the city he represents in Parliament or the one he lives in?)
Ottawa's win over Saint Mary's was sweet validation for everyone who's been on the Gee-Gees bandwagon. Coach Dave DeAveiro's team will get a shot at No. 3 Concordia tomorrow in a tournament semi-final. The Gee-Gees won't have shooting guard Donnie Gibson (cishoops.ca is reporting that he tweaked his back in practice) to match up with the Stingers' Dwayne Buckley, which is going to make the task at hand that much tougher.
Meantime, what to make of the Brock Badgers, without shooting guard Rohan Steen, coming back in the fourth quarter to beat Brandon at the MTS Classic in Winnipeg? Brad Rootes shook free for a 16-point, 10-assist double-double to lead Brock, who were cold for three quarters before rallying with a 31-17 fourth quarter. It seems best to chalk this up as a case of Brandon failing to bury a team and veteran Brock coach Ken Murray getting his team to pull together in the final minutes.
Something of note: Brock has added 6-foot-6, 260-lb. big man Mike Muir, who should provide some beef under the boards for a team that's 11th in the 16-team OUA in rebounding margin.
Again, Mark Wacyk at cishoops.ca is tracking results from across the country. The fellas at The Scrum are liveblogging from the 'Peg, and Guelph's Big Man on Campus is keeping a close watch on everything.
The upshot from today is we will have some movement in the CIS men's basketball rankings once everyone's back on campus in about 10 days.
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