Basketball: Championship compromise; regionals the weekend before the Final 8 has a much-needed update on a change to CIS men's basketball championship which would be voted on next June.

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."

" ... 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."
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.

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.
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  1. I have a the present system we have so damaged that we need this?
    Thirty...count em 30 teams out of 43 qualify for the CIS playoffs.
    6 out 8 in the AUS
    4 out of 5 in the Q
    12 out of 15...sorry, the OUA
    And 8 out of 13 in Canada West
    Is this not "inclusive" enough, people?
    Apparently not for some.
    A 12 team tournament held at 3 different sites to determine 3 wild cards?
    This AFTER the league championships have concluded?
    Are you kidding me?
    This sounds like the kind of nutty idea Ottawa's City Council would dream up.
    First of all, the fact only the Wilson Cup winner qualifies automatically bugs me no end.
    Last year, the two Wilson participants were Carleton at 21-1 and Western at 19-3.
    You mean to tell me that Western, with their record would be have to go into some stupid "qualifying" tournament with the likes of a team like the QSSF runner up., which this year might not be above .500?
    The OUA is not one uber league, rather two distinct conferences that do not play identical schedules.
    Both OUA East and West have their own national reps for COY, POY, ROY and so on.
    Two berths for winner and runner up for Canada West and the AUS is fine the way it is, and one berth for Ringo, er, the QSSF.
    The remaining berth should be a wildcard berth.
    It shouldn't depend on a selection committee...I agree there should be a play in tournament.
    Who qualifies for it is simple.
    The top four ranked teams in the country eliminated in their respective league playoffs should qualify.
    A four team winner take all tournament at the home of the highest ranked team.
    Forget about this 12 team bullcrap...we don't need to regurgitate the league playoffs with this convoluted idea.
    Keep it simple, stupid.

  2. That is a good point about the OUA East and OUA West. Why not give them each an auto berth and have 2 regionals for the other 2 spots, which you could move around.

    I don't know how they got the OUA to agree to only 1 guaranteed berth. In theory, they could get 4 teams qualified, but what are the odds?

    This idea seems to have its pluses and minuses. Who knows, they might tweak it again before it gets to a vote. The OUA will also have to move the Wilson Cup to the same weekend as the "semifinals" (i.e., division finals).

    Obviously, it will be put a majority vote (presumably) and there could be a lot of teams who will vote for anything if it gives them a better shot. That happened with the short-lived Final 10 format, did it not?

  3. QSSF runner up under ,500? You are not that good with maths are you.

    Just how well do you know the Q?

  4. I know enough about the Q that no team from the QSSF is currently ranked in the top 10 nor should they be.
    Even Laval, the best team in the conference right now, had a lousy non conference record of 3-7.
    Only now, after winning their first four league games, Laval's record is .500 at 7-7
    All the other teams in the Q had losing non conference records except Concordia and that's because they played tomato cans in the pre season.
    This is the worst year for the Q is recent memory, maybe ever.
    Not one team in that league is a serious national contender.

  5. Alex Tourigny12/07/2009 7:55 pm

    You are right on one point. The Q lost lots of their stars this year (Mustafa El Zanaty, Sean Anthony, Da. Buckley, Dw. Buckley, Jr. Nicolas).

    Laval and UQAM are running the Q and I don't see anyone else making it to the nationals.

    Non-conference records in pre-season are useless to me. I can't wait for the holidays tournaments.
    THEN we'll know how it's playing out.

    As for the non TOP 10 factor, let's just say that the Q has 5 votes...

    Let's see how UQAM can play it out in the UQAM tournament...with their full lineup (which they didn't have in the pre-season - they were without their 2 best players).

    Laval and UQAM meet in Montreal on January 6th. Both team should be healthy (which wasn't the case for Laval on nov 29th)and UQAM will be rested...unlike the 15 hours turnaround of nov 29th).

    Anyway, you should know that any team can beat any team in the CIS.

  6. Alex Tourigny12/07/2009 7:56 pm

    (I forgot Jamal Gallier in my "lost stars" list")

  7. You are saying no Quebec team is in the top 10 because they only have 5 votes?
    Oh, please give me a break.
    Maybe those pre season games are useless to you, but it it's the only
    thing coaches in other conferences have to go by and quite frankly, the Q didn't look too good when it was all over.
    A 15-26 non conference record, and most of those wins were against the likes of PEI, Winnipeg, RMC and York.
    So don't blame the voters in other conferences for showing no confidence in the Q.
    The Q HAS lost a lot of talent and it shows.
    Never before can I recall no Quebec team in the top 10.
    Maybe if Laval runs the table or close to it, they'll work their way in.

  8. Alex Tourigny12/08/2009 10:34 am

    The point is that is doesn't help having 5 teams in the Q, period. Quebec loses so many good players because of it. And yes, there is the "vote factor".

    Other conferences coaches can base their votes on regular season action. They see more teams in "real" competition and not pre-season.

    As for Laval running up the table, let's see. This year in the Q is a toss up between them and UQAM.

    Unless proven otherwise, it has been a 2 team conference and will stay that way. Concordia, Bishop's and McGill are all rebuilding.

  9. Alex Tourigny12/08/2009 5:09 pm

    Someone pointed out the same thing (non-conference games) in a hockey discussion.