The long and short of the two upsets in the Canada West semi-finals is that one of the teams which have been 2 and 2-A since New Year's is not coming to Ottawa for the Final 8.
Calgary and Brandon each lost on Friday night, to UBC (77-69 winners) and Alberta (85-79) respectively. So now the winner of the Bobcats-Dinos matchup in the Can West bronze medal game tonight should go to the big dance (then again, what if it's a poor game and No. 4 Acadia doesn't win the Atlantic championship next weekend?)
The lads at cishoops.ca and The Scrum can give a more authoritative blow-by-blow of the games. Alberta got a terrific night out of Alex Steele (21 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, all team highs). Brandon had four players score all but eight of their points, which isn't going to win many games at this time of year.
Likewise, gotta do a mea-culpa with UBC. It had seemed like the Thunderbirds just muddled through their first two playoff rounds while their star, Chris Dyck, counted around 12-14 points a night. He had 26 last night and the T-Birds just kind of hitched on to his rising star to win on Calgary's home floor.
The fallout from Friday also means there should be only one berth at stake at the AUS Final 6 next weekend.
The bottom line is, by tomorrow three teams that have been ranked in the Top 5 in the country -- Toronto and Windsor being the first two -- are going to be done for the season. That shows how competitive CIS basketball is across the country; it puts the lie to the common gripe that the same teams win every year.
The fact more than one good team won't get a shot at the national championship because of one off-night in their conference playoffs might renew the call for a 16-team, two-weekend championship (which will happen in the women's game starting in 2010). The counter-point is that any team which is meant to win a national title would have won its way into the Final 8 or impressed the committee enough to receive the wild-card berth. It's that whole team of destiny thing.