Basketball: Canada West's cross-over playoffs rankle

Not everyone is enamoured of the cross-over playoff format in Canada West hoops.

During CITR 101.9's wrapup of UBC's depantsing of Victoria on Saturday, play-by-play announcer Daryl Wener called the new format "stupid." (The first-place team in each division will host the fourth-place team from the other side, and so forth; the survivors meet the following weekend for a Final Four at the gym of the highest remaining seed.) Interview guest Thunderbirds guard Nathan Yu, was more diplomatic, saying (paraphrasing), "I like the classic Pacific Division matchups, we can prepare for our opponents better."

That is fair comment. UBC had every reason to love the previous Can West setup, where three division winners and a wild-card entry advanced to the Final Four. They did pretty well with that playoff structure, so of course they wouldn't want the change.

Beyond that, though, what's the beef? The new method seems a bit fairer to a great second-place team which plays in a stacked division, such as the '08-09 Trinity Western squad (or Simon Fraser this season). It also makes a first-place team in a weak group really earn its spot. From a fan point of view, it's less drawn out. The old way, a team could end up playing eight playoff games to qualify for CIS Final 8; now it's down to five, still more than the OUA where a team can punch its tournament ticket in as few as two games.

UBC is in line to host a first-round series vs. a retooling Alberta team, and I believe all three games would be in Vancouver, so that's not much to kvetch about.
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  1. West Coast Express2/07/2010 4:26 pm

    To flesh out the "stupid" comment, I think the radio guy was referring to the fact that instead of UBC playing a classic pacific division rival in the playoffs, would be either Vic or TWU this year, they get some retooling team from a division that plays once every of other year in Vancouver. Hardly as exciting as UBC vs Vic or TWU. and in this etup UBC may never play a West Coast team in the playoffs depending how the Final Four nets out. UBC, I would surmise with the current CW landscape, probably gets a boost from this schedule since a 3rd or 4th place team from the Prairie Division are currently weaker than Pac-D and will be less comfortable against UBC in Vancouver.

  2. The only thing I don't like about the CW playoff format is this best of three jazz.
    Canada West is the only conference that uses it.
    I like single game elimination playoffs because of the inherent
    balls to the wall pressure of a do or die game.