"Berths and matchups at those regional tournaments will be strictly prescribed. Five teams will come from the OUA, four from Canada West, two from the AUS and one from the QSSF. They will be spread out across all three regionals and will automatically slot into matchups based on a team's final placement within its conference playoffs, or in some cases where it finished in the regular season standings.It's wish-you-thought-of-it-first idea. CIS president Marg McGregor told SSN Canada last weekend that the seeding committee next year will be instructed to avoid intra-conference first-round matchups, but this takes it one step farther.
"The upshot is that conferences that feel they have had a strong year can make their case on the floor, said NABC president and Regina coach James Hillis."
If such a system had been in place this season, Carleton (host), Calgary, Concordia, Dalhousie and Western would have had the automatic berths (no, the Mustangs didn't win the OUA outright, but play along, it's 3:15 a.m.).
For argument's sake, the regionals would have looked like this:
- West regional: Brandon vs. Windsor (CW4/OUA2); UQAM vs. UBC (AQ3/CW1). The 'Birds probably wouldn't have had much trouble.
Please bear in mind that Canada West is junking its three-division format, so this season's Alberta team could easily go into Brandon's spot.
- Ontario regional: McMaster vs. Cape Breton (OUA4/AQ2); Victoria vs. Ottawa (CW3/OUA1).
This probably would have the best four-team pod.
- East regional: Ryerson or Waterloo vs. St. Francis Xavier (OUA5 vs. AQ1); Toronto vs. Trinity Western (OUA3 vs. CW2).
Varsity Blues coach Mike Katz would finally get a chance to get to the Final 8 without having to go through Ottawa or Carleton. U of T, with the 10th-best RPI in the country, would have stood a good chance to advance (without even presuming that St. FX would have had three players suspended).
Regular-season performance will be considered, so the committee would have to weigh Ryerson's 12-10 record vs. Waterloo being 10-12 with a playoff win (and a higher RPI than the Rams).
One question for the OUA is how to fit everything in, especially since the Wilson Cup, its championship game, now has meaning. Perhaps it could do a single-site conference tournament.
CIS to introduce regional men's basketball playdowns (Wayne Kondro, Canwest News Service)