Hoops: Tracking The Top 10

Here's the Top 10 tracker that's more or less become a regular feature. Toronto's win at Ottawa and Alberta's sweep on the West Coast figure to make for the most movement in next week's media poll.

  1. Carleton: All quiet on the Eastern (Ontario) front. The Ravens clinched their eighth-straight OUA East regular-season title with 21- and 23-point wins over U of T and Ryerson. Fun fact: Their big three of Ryan Bell, Aaron Doornekamp and Stu Turnbull combined for 59 points in each game.
  2. Brandon: How do you hold a team to four points in a quarter when there's a 24-second shot clock? The Bobcats did on Saturday in the second of their two wins over Regina. Big man Yuri Whyms ripped down 17 rebounds on Saturday. Brandon just has to be sure not to get too slack between now and the playoffs. They seem to be in a groove.
  3. Calgary: The Dinos dispatched Winnipeg and Manitoba by comfy margins and will again draw some second-place votes (one, at least) in the media poll.
  4. Acadia: Beat Dalhousie by 10 on Friday and now have a 10-day layoff until their next game. That's a lot of shooting drills.
  5. Toronto: The Varsity Blues have clear sailing through to home court for the OUA East semi-final on Feb. 23 after beating Ottawa 78-69 on Saturday, their second win over the Gee-Gees. Rob Paris put up 26 in the win, as the Blues were evidently in control most of the game, going up 12 at the half and then finding a second wind after the Gee-Gees went on a 16-0 run.
  6. Ottawa: The Gee-Gees might get bumped down to No. 7. In their (partial) defence, they were without small forward Sean Peter (hip) against the U of T. Lead guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe went down with an injury with about four minutes left when it was still a one-possession game. They will have a puncher's chance in the playoffs against Toronto, but winning on the road hasn't been their strongest suit in recent years.
  7. UBC: The T-Birds split at home, beating Saskatchewan after a loss to Alberta. Sophomore backup Balraj Bains helped provide a spark with 11 points, seven rebounds and a game-high four blocks in Saturday's 90-78 win over the Huskies.
  8. Cape Breton: Swept a two-game series vs. Memorial without a ton of trouble.
  9. Windsor: The best point guard in the OUA West, Ryan Steer, missed a triple-double by two assists in Saturday's 79-64 win over Brock that effectively locked up top spot in the division with two weeks to spare.
  10. Laval: Beat Bishop's on Saturday in what turned out to be their lone game of the weekend.
  11. Brock: Lost to Windsor for the second time and it was even more decisive than the first meeting. Mike Kemp hit five threes in a losing cause, but the rest of the Badgers were 0-for-23 from beyond the arc. There might have been some method to the media members' madness in not having the Badgers in their Top 10.
  12. Alberta: They should get much more Top 10 support after winning at UBC and Victoria on the strength of all-Canadian calibre efforts by Alex Steele. Beating the top two teams in the Pacific Division was huge for the U of A, since there's a wild-card spot available into the Canada West Final Four.

    (Yes, the conference has a wild-card into its own championship, plus the opportunity for a potential wild-card into the nationals. Yet people complain about Carleton's automatic berth.

    Oh, and to the Anonymous guy down below: Dissenting opinions to have a little more authenticity when you can actually spell a word that's already in the post... b-e-r-t-h... it's not hard.)
  13. Victoria: Tough, tough weekend, losing to Alberta and Saskatchewan at home. Both visitors got star efforts; Alberta from Steele and the U of S from Kyle Grant and Andrew Spagrud, who never left the court.
  14. St. Francis Xavier: Guard Dwayne Johnson put up 17 points in 25 minutes in Sunday's win over UPEI. It's a short turnaround before next Thursday's home game against Saint Mary's.
  15. Concordia: Beat McGill in their lone game of the weekend; bad weather led to a postponement of Friday's game vs. Laval.

(Again, this top 15 is based on the results from last week's media poll.)

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  1. Are you serious!!
    People complain about Carltons automatic bearth.
    Of course they do!! 8 teams out of 42 in the country get to go to nats, and now its 7 with one auto matic bearth.
    We are just lucky that carlton is a powerhouse, so people cn actually feel ok, about the autobearth going to a qualified team.
    If Lakehead was going for the next three years, and U of T and Ottawa and Brock had to wacth from the stands, it would be mor eapparent how ridiculous a auto bearth is. At least give it to the conference instead of a specific team.

    AND THEN to compare this to the CAnada west conference wildcard...
    is ridiculous.
    There is zero things starnge about having a wild card into a "three division" conference final 4. It makes total sense.

    Also your comments about brandon not getting rusty over the next weeks, while we get a "fun fact" on Carlton.
    You actaull might not be ab idiot, but your post was complete crap. With zero thought going into it.
    Do everyone a favor, and if you bother to do another one of these top ten summeries, print something that is not meaningless drivel.

  2. Take a deep breath, Atom.

    It's no coincidence Carleton received the automatic berth. Their performance over the past five years; the number of returning players they have; and their amazing recruiting classes the past couple of years are the very arguments used in granting the automatic berth. If it had been one of the schools you mentioned hosting, it would never have been approved so quickly.

    BTW, if you are going to call someone an idiot, try not to post without proof reading.

  3. Once again, are you serious?
    Perhaps my spell check is off and Im a poor typer but that is not the issue.
    Your basic lack of knowledge keeps coming through with your comments on why carlton recieved the autobearth.
    It has zero to do with their record, and strong men's basketball program.
    It has everything to do with outbidding the other bidders to host. They came up with more money, and a better bid, than the AUS(who wanted a year or two off) and I believe UBC.
    The problem with this is that the birth to nationals does not go to the host conference like in Halifax, but instead goes to Carlton.
    Your comments on why Carlton got the bid are ridiculous, just like Seager's comments about wildcards and rankings were blather that wasn't thought out.

  4. Dammit... I could have sworn I put at least one iota of thought into that post. Thanks for disabusing me of that notion.

    By the way, there are better ways to pump yourself up than insulting people. Drink some water... read a book to a child (judging by your spelling and grammar, maybe let the kid do the reading). Or maybe you could do some situps -- but don't do too many, or you might become an "ab idiot."

  5. At least my "basic lack of knowledge" is still enough to know how to spell Carleton. You might want to consider such matters before throwing around blanket insults.

    You seem to think that the automatic berth came with the winning bid to host; it didn't. There had never been an automatic host before so it wasn't the money guarantee that got them the automatic space. That only got them the right to host the event. It was their past record and expected record over the next three years that enboldened Carleton to make this request and also convinced the CIS to approve it.

  6. Bottom line: The OUA East, as a conference, is only assured 1 berth into nationals. (If Carleton wins, then the runner-up plays off against the OUA West runner-up.)

    For 24 years, the Atlantic conf. was assured 2 teams into the big dance. So the OUA did give something up to have this.

  7. Is it a fact that the OUA East and West runners-up will play for the third Ontario berth? Because I've seen it written in several places (none of them official) that the OUA East runner-up qualifies for nationals.

    And while I don't like Anonymous #1's tone (or inability to spell), he/she is right: giving Carleton or any one team a free pass for three years is bogus. Sure the Ravens will likely earn it every year so it won't be as much of an issue, but it's still a bad precedent. It's a decision that puts the financial security of the local host ahead of the integrity of the game, and I don't know how any objective fan can stomach that.

    And just for the record, the AUS wasn't given a second berth for the past 24 years. It's only in this decade that the host berth came into play. Even in that case it's different than Carleton's situation; the berth went to the conference, not one team. Theoretically the two AUS spots could have gone to UPEI and Memorial, which wouldn't have helped bring big bucks to Halifax at all.

  8. I stand corrected, Chad ... that's also a good point that it could have conceivably been 2 non-Nova Scotia-based teams representing the Atlantic in the years where they were assured of having 2 of their 8 teams at the nationals.

    It's a little bit different from the Ottawa organizers being assured of a local team and one from no farther away than Sudbury or Toronto.

    And yes, if I recall correctly it was stated early on in the season that if Carleton wins the OUA East, then the division runner-up will play the OUA West runner-up for a spot at nationals. If someone knows otherwise, please speak up.