Basically, it would be a two-leg qualification process: Five teams would get in by either being host or winning their conference. Three four-team regionals (one hosted by Canada West, one by OUA and the other held in the AUS two-thirds of the time and the QSSF the rest of the time) would be held to fill out the field. If it's approved, it would come in for the 2012 championship.
"As NABC President James Hillis of Regina commented, 'It was important to keep in place the three-day, eight-team format for the final three rounds.' Indeed, marketing a Final Four, with only two semi-finals and a championship game, with the added element of no host, as apparently was being considered for the CIS women's nationals, would be a more difficult sell; the first day of the tournament with four games has always been a very exciting day for fans and worth travelling for, setting up the weekend semi-finals and championship Sunday very nicely - very importantly making it more worthwhile for and more likely that out-of-town fans to travel to the tournament site."This should serve the greater good: getting more media exposure for CIS basketball and reducing the mud-flinging over wild-card selections. That is not an accusation of such, but it inevitably comes up every year when the committee has to pick one team (and some of their picks, like the 2008 Acadia team, have done very well). Everyone is winning their way into the championship, although as Mark Wacyk notes, there might be some wild-card entries into the regionals.
" ... As such, the 'tournament' provides 17 teams across the country with a shot at the nationals after conference playoffs are completed and more programs, players and fans an opportunity at experiencing the post-season for longer."
Mark adds it would ideal to have "a system that rewards teams for playing a fuller schedule of games vs. CIS teams outside of their regular conference games. Hey, maybe that will cause the powers-that-be to actually tabulate the results of a McMaster-St. FX pre-season game.
This also offers some flexibility for awarding the host berth and for each conference's playoff format. The OUA could do a one-site conference championship like the Big East's, with all 12 teams on one site.
There are a lot of questions, including whether regional winners would always be the 6, 7 and 8 seeds, and so on. The 16-team OUA and 13-team Canada West are laying a lot on the line by agreeing to have only one guaranteed berth apiece, but they are doing it for the good of the game.