Hoops: Tracking The Top 10; Brandon tops Calgary

For continuity's sake, this Top 10 thread that will be updated as close as possible in real time throughout the weekend:

Math problem: If Brandon beat Calgary, who beat Acadia, who beat Brandon, then who should be ranked No. 2 in the country? Calgary did keep it close in their second game of the weekend, losing 81-77 to the Bobcats who got a 38-point night from Dany Charlery. Brandon played great, but it's a worrying sign when you need so much out of one guy. There's a case Calgary should still be No. 2 in the country (it's just not necessarily the strongest case).

Rouge alert: Laval is officially playing the best ball in the Quebec conference after decisive wins over McGill and Bishop's. They probably were among the best 10 in the country this week, although they won't be in the Top 10 poll.

Climbing: Brandon, Toronto, Alberta, Windsor, Victoria

Down a peg: Ottawa, Cape Breton

Dropping out: Brock, Concordia (OK, probably not), Guelph

Sick, wicked and Wallis: Sadly, there's no footage on YouTube of the dunk that Simon Fraser's Greg Wallis threw down against UBC on Tuesday that caused the basket to collapse to the floor. Dibs on this joke: Apparently the dunk was NCAA-worthy.
  1. Carleton (1, 1): cishoops.ca is reporting that Aaron Doornekamp was scratched from Saturday's win over Laurentian (not that it hurt the Battlin' Blackbirds any) with a "suspected sore back." Carleton won't play again until next Saturday's showdown with Ottawa.
  2. Calgary (2, 2): The loss at Brandon and a close win at Regina (Foul trouble kept Robbie Sihota to 18 minutes vs. the Cougars) reminds us that the Dinos are still a work-in-progress. A four-point loss to Brandon
  3. Acadia (3, 14): The Axemen gutted out a 64-63 win over Cape Breton on Sunday thanks largely to their Ottawa connection, Achuil Lual and Leonel Saintil, shining glass: They combined for 28 rebounds, half of which were offensive. With the win, the Axemen opened a two-game lead in the Atlantic conference. No rest for the wicked, though: They have a return game in Sydney vs. the Capers next Saturday.
  4. UBC: The T-Birds should be dropped behind Brandon, but Friday's 79-76 road win over Victoria was a bit reaffirming. Chris Dyck returned with 25 points, while the T-Birds got two crucial baskets inside of three minutes (an open layup for Bryson Kool, who had a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double) and a putback. That was enough to keep the Vikes at bay.
  5. Brandon: The Cats could be anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 come Tuesday.
  6. Ottawa: The reaction to the Gee-Gees' weekend is lukewarm. Seriously, a 23-point first half vs. York? Granted, as a resident of the capital, sometimes I overcompensate by judging them harshly. This probably ensures more focus at practice with for their upcoming Carleton-Queen's week. The added focus is good with that Scotiabank Place tilt on Saturday vs. the Ravens.
  7. Concordia: Not having a league game gives the Stingers a week off from the slings and arrows.
  8. Brock: It's a short stay in top 10 after a home loss to Windsor. The Badgers were sporadic on offence, as so often happens when you take 39 threes. (Two-word explanation for that: Greg Surmacz.) Big man Mike Muir played just eight minutes and went scoreless, which might have hurt the chance to run much offence through the post.
  9. U of T: The Varsity Blues beat short-staffed Queen's 83-76 on Saturday to stay a game back of Ottawa for second place in the OUA East and home court for a semi-final game. They came into the week No. 3 in RPI, but seeing them ranked No. 6 would be nice.
  10. Cape Breton: In the light of the day, the Capers might well realize they almost won at Acadia while getting outrebounded and getting literally no scoring from frosh point guard Tremaine Fraser, who was 0-for-8 from the floor in the loss. Every good guard will have games like that early in his career.
  11. Guelph: Big Man on Campus is the source for all things Gryphons, but man oh man, break out the "fragile" stamp. They were up after three in Saturday's 71-66 to Western. Mustangs point guard, Matthew Curtis, had one turnover in 36 minutes. It was ugly; the Gryphons had 15 turnovers after the half, according to Mark Wacyk's report. This was basically a reprise of the Yates Cup in short pants.

    Really, Guelph's had one great quarter in the past week or so, a 36-point fourth vs. Laurier last Wednesday. Chris O'Rourke is a good coach. There's a lot of time, but they'll be the under-the-radar team for the OUA West playoffs. Maybe that's where they function best.
  12. Alberta: Friday's decisive win over Simon Fraser puts the Golden Bears on the cusp of returning to the Top 10.
  13. Saint Mary's: Only winning by three over UPEI, 88-85 on Sunday, might be a good wake-up call for the Huskies. Falling 86-75 at home to St. FX on Tuesday (only some a window-dressing 28-point fourth quarter made it look close) guarantees SMU of not moving up., but a Ross Quackenbush team shouldn't be written off too soon.

    St. FX gave the Huskies a little "Run TLC" on Tuesday with Tyler Richards, Islam Luiz de Toledo and Christian Upshaw combining for 62 points.
  14. Windsor: The Lancers aren't in a bad spot in the event of tiebreakers, since they've had a nine-point road win over Brock and only lost to Guelph by a bucket. Surmacz had 22 in the win over Brock on Saturday, while Ryan Steer had a 21-point, 11-assist night.
  15. UVic: The Vikes were right there against the T-Birds on Friday. They just didn't get a couple stops down the stretch and missed a tying three in the final seconds. Guard Tyler Hass had a great night shooting the ball, as near as I could tell watching the webcast.
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  1. I'm not sure of the logic that Calgary still deserves a No. 2 spot even after a loss. The second-ranked team in the country shouldn't lose those games, period. Regardless of circumstances. You lose, you drop. And the Bobcats not getting credit for a great win in an absolutely tremendous basketball game because Charlery had a memorable game is also devoid of logic, too. One more item, Calgary is very much not a work in progress. The Dinos are talented and deep and very skilled and the nationals deserve to have both of these teams in the tournament... not the other way around.

  2. Well, out of the 3, I would say Calgary is the strongest team overall, and a Top 10 is a combo of who's the best overall and who's playing the best this week.

    The Bobcats have been given proper credit, that's why they're at worst ranked No. 3. You're right; we'll probably be seeing both at nats (hopefully), plus another Can West team. That conference rates 3 spots, although the Atlantic should have a team worthy of wild-card consideration.

  3. The question must be asked: Is it possible that none of the Canada West teams deserve the #2 spot. They have taken turns beating each other but how much depth is there out west?

    Some might argue that Acadia deserves the spot but the AUS teams rarely play well outside of their division (which also lacks depth.) They sometimes look good against visiting OUA and Canada West teams travelling down east but they look quite inept when they leave the comfy confines of Nova Scotia.

    The OUA is still the deepest league by far and one wonders how Ottawa would be doing if they played in any division other than the OUA East. Carleton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Queen's are all worthy top-10 contenders. Perhaps Ottawa at 12-2 in such a strong division deserves the #2 spot. If they knock off the Ravens next week, a team against which they are 3-1 in the regular season over the past 2 years, could anyone argue against a move to #2?

  4. Well, Alberta, UBC, UVic, Calgary, Brandon -- that's five teams right there who probably wouldn't be out of place at the Final 8. They have four teams in the top 8 of the RPI.

    Again, though, RPI like anything else should be taken with a grain of salt.

    FWIW, here's the new RPI updated with Sunday's games.

    1. Carleton
    2. Calgary
    3. Alberta
    4. Brandon
    5. Toronto
    6. St. FX
    7. Ottawa
    8. UBC
    9. Cape Breton
    10. Windsor
    11. Victoria
    12. Acadia
    13. Saint Mary's
    14. Guelph
    15. Brock

  5. The question MUST be asked that no one in Canada West deserves the No. 2 spot? Really? Yet Acadia does despite an ugly loss to Manitoba over Christmas and, to that point, no wins over ranked opponents? Acadia is athletic and talented, there's no doubt. But don't shortchange the quality of teams in the CanWest. Neate is right. There are, off the top of the head, five quality teams in the CW, so don't go giving me this jabber about OUA being far and away the best conference. If it is, it's not by much.

  6. I note that the list of top teams in the West involved three divisions compared to the one OUA division about which I was primarily commenting.

    I don't disagree that there are five good teams out west but their records are inflated by the number of games they play against the rest of the teams that are well below them in calibre.

    The fact that the coach of the #1 team (by a mile) in the nation was genuinely worried about a game against the #4 team in his division says a lot about the OUA. Meanwhile, the OUA West is probably the single most competitive division in Canada, in terms of the ability of teams from top to bottom to compete with their division rivals on any given day.

    Give me the top 8 or 9 of the OUA over the top 5 of Canada West any day.

  7. Wow you have to be joking. The OUA West is that good? Seriously? Laurier? Lakehead? Western? Guelph? So you want the top nine in the OUA over the top five in CW? Let's see, you've got legit teams like Carleton and Ottawa, Windsor as well, and I'd even argue Brock, too. So there you have four... but you want the top nine in the OUA. So, that means Toronto, Guelph, Western, Queen's and Lakehead are added in. Come on. I'm not arguing the legitimacy of the OUA. But I'm also not accepting the fact that you'd take the top NINE teams in the OUA over the likes of Calgary, UBC, Alberta, Brandon, Victoria or even Simon Fraser. Bring Lakehead to the battle, we'll see how that works for you.