Women's basketball: Final 8 preview

Here's a look at the teams vying for the Bronze Baby. "Top 100" refers to the ranking system used here. Probability of winning is based on their RPI and their likely opponents in the tournament setup.

(1st in RPI)

Probability of winning: 49.8%
How they got here: Canada West champion. They had a 22-1 regular season (the one loss was by one point, to UVic) and a convincing playoff run.
2008-2009 units rankings: 1st on offence, 6th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Laurelle Weigl, Robyn Buna, Matteke Hutzler, Courtney Gerwing, Katie Miyazaki, Kate Hole, Lisa Tindle
Last year: Upset by Laval in the first round, the Clan ran the board against Memorial and the U of S to nab the consolation title.
Recently: They're not the defending champions, but they won in 2007, 2004, and 2002. Weigl was tournament MVP in '07.
Outlook: Clearly the favourites for the Bronze Baby. They have about a two-out-of-three chance to make the finals, and only Windsor would give them a tough time once they get there. No other team at the finals has more than four players in the top 100; the Clan and their huge offence have seven.

2. REGINA (5th in RPI)
Probability of winning: 9.3%
How they got here: Canada West runner up / host. Went 18-4 in the regular season and then lost the CW final by 11 to SFU.
2008-2009 units rankings: 5th on offence, 7th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Jessica Lynch, Chelsea Cassano, Brittany Read, Carmen Stewart
Last year: Runners-up to UBC, who did not qualify this year. They beat Memorial and Laval before their final matchup against the 'Birds.
Outlook: For the second straight year, the hosts from Saskatchewan will have difficulty winning. The U of R will probably have to traverse the Windsor-SFU path.

3. WINDSOR (2nd in RPI)
Probability of winning: 21.3%
How they got here: OUA winner. A dominating season in the OUA and one of the few non-West teams to crack the top rankings. Beat Ottawa by 17 in the OUA final and Western by 22 a few days before.
2008-2009 units rankings: 2nd on offence, 8th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Alisa Wulff, Laura Mullins, Iva Peklova, Dranadia Roc
Last year: Did not participate after a 14-8 season left them far behind the then-dominant McMaster Marauders.
Recently: Not a lot of history in the finals, to say the least.
Outlook: It's less than 50-50 whether the Lancers will make the final, but overall they're second-best favourites for this tournament, and twice as likely to win as Alberta. Will someone not from the West win this thing?

4. ALBERTA (3rd in RPI)
Probability of winning: 10.3%
How they got here: 16-6 regular season, then were Canada West Central playoff winners and bronze medalists out of the West.
2008-2009 units rankings: 9th on offence, 3rd on defence
Players in the Top 100: Ashley Wigg, Kristen Jarock
Last year: Did not qualify after losing the gold- and bronze-medal games in the Canada West conference playoffs.
Recently: Jarock was a tournament all-star in 2007 when the Pandas were edged in the final by SFU.
Outlook: An SFU first-round exit this year would help the Pandas greatly: if Alberta wins and Ottawa pulls off the upset, Alberta has an 86% chance of advancing; if the Gee-Gees don't, that number drops to about 16%.

5. LAVAL (9th in RPI)
Probability of winning: 1.6%
How they got here: Quebec champion: 11-5 record, 74-65 semifinal win over Concordia, 82-71 over UQAM in the final.
2008-2009 units rankings: 13th on offence, 12th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Marie-Michelle Genois, Elyse Jobin, Chanelle St-Amour
Last year: Giant-killers (Laval 71, SFU 68), then lost to Regina in round two.
Outlook: One of three long-shot teams. Laval, Ottawa, and CBU combine for about a 4.5% chance of winning.

Probability of winning: 4.8%
How they got here: The fourth Canada West seed. Won their division with an 18-4 record, then lost the divisional playoff to Alberta before losing the third-place game in the conference finals to Alberta again.
2008-2009 units rankings: 8th on offence, 9th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Jana Spindler, Kim Tulloch, Jill Humbert
Last year: Went 9-13, but as the host, had an automatic berth in the finals. They lost their first and third games.
Outlook: Well, on the bright side, they're as likely to win as the 5, 7, and 8 seeds put together. A loss from Windsor or Simon Fraser would do much for the Huskies' chances.

7. CAPE BRETON (11th in RPI)
Probability of winning: 2.3%
How they got here: AUS champion. They went 15-5; one game behind Memorial and St. Francis Xavier, but were two points better than St. F.X. and had the same number of points as MUN.
2008-2009 units rankings: 3rd on offence, 26 on defence
Players in the Top 100: Kelsey Hodgson, Kari Everett, Karmen Brown
Last year: Did not participate. They lost the AUS final 64-61 to Memorial in 2008.
Recently: In the 2006 championships, they lost the final game 56-53 to UBC.
Outlook: Not so good. Either Hodgson has to be (more) superhuman, or CBU needs excellent defensive performances.

8. OTTAWA (14th in RPI)
Probability of winning: 0.6%
How they got here: OUA East winner. They finished two games behind Toronto but knocked them off in the OUA East final.
2008-2009 units rankings: 24th on offence, 10th on defence
Players in the Top 100: Emilie Morasse
Last year: Were they ever not at nationals. They went 3-19, the worst record among non-military colleges in Ontario.
Outlook: Ottawa is a great story but they're going to need that great story to continue if they want the Bronze Baby. Unless Morasse has some help against SFU's D, it'll be a quick exit.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment