Basketball: Only one team bids for '13-14 Final 8s; why this is not bad

It's easy is to give into the conundrum that no one wants to host a flagship championship such as the CIS Final 8 men's basketball championship.

However, there is a glass-half-full regarding the 2013 and '14 hoops tournaments going to Carleton by those two sweetest words in the English language, de-fault. (The latest round of bid proposals also elicited only one proposal for the 2013 women's hockey tournament, from the U of T Varsity Blues.) It's simply a case of CIS still having to dig its way out after getting buried from years of inaction at the national level, along with its choice to make the Final 8 (or 10) such a cash cow that some say it's cost-prohibitive to schools to bid for the men's basketball tournament. Recouping costs is impossible.

That cannot be reversed overnight. Instead of picking old sores, please keep in mind this came out the very same week Ontario University Athletics announced at long last it will have marketing committees for basketball and men's hockey. They're starting to turn it around a bit.

There are positives on the horizon for hoops. This was maybe not so discernible two months ago at the Final 8. It was easy to get caught up being surrounded by scores of empty seats, the TSN producer who ripped "boring" Carleton in the media room and that broadcaster's general indifference to covering the basketball championships (a small-town-cheap telecast of the women's final and not allowing Streaming Sports Network Canada to have a videocast of men's games).

The hoops group includes a few people who by reputation are ahead of the curve, such as Mark Wacyk at, Howard Bloom of Sports Business News renown and Ravens coach Dave Smart. New OUA president Gord Grace has also touched in passing on the "introduction of a televised Final Four concept in OUA basketball."

Anyway, it sounds as if things could take a turn for the better for those who care about basketball in Ontario and across the country. The province has lost its economic clout, but it can still influence sporting tastes. It's good to see OUA highers-up (Grace: "The OUA is the largest association in the CIS and the highest profile in my opinion") trying to take more ownership in building a brand, daunting as that can be in Canada.

That seems like a decent spot to focus. Since I'm about cover a meaningless game at the Memorial Cup between Brandon and Calgary (they'll meet again in the semifinal), one does wonder how television would sell a Final Four if one team is already in the Final 8. Teams already being assured of a NCAA tournament bid never stopped conference tournaments from being appointment viewing in the States.
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  1. Does anyone else find it interesting that now fewer than 4 teams bid for the Women's BBall nationals? And that the bids pretty much have to be a 2 year commitment?

  2. Not surprising at all that a number of teams bid for the Womens BB nationals. Night and day as far as complexity in holding the event. The mens championships are held in much bigger venues so the volunteer and financial aspects of hosting the tournament are far more difficult to arrange. You can take a rather large financial bath in hosting the mens if you don't have the organization to put the work and planning into it. Womens tournament still held in a university gym on campus.

  3. The headline is correct, but it is a bad thing at the same time: if they think I'm going back to Scotiabank Place for two more of these things, they're way off. Surely I'm not the only one fed up with the location, personnel, and general atmosphere.

  4. I was framing it more in terms that it's going to get better in general in basketball. If they want to look to a renovated Civic Centre, I'd be all for it.

  5. What about the new arena in gatineau it may be ideal.I beleave it will seat around 6,000 have sky boxes etc it will be a state of the art arena.

  6. I don't think the arena in Gatineau has even started being built yet, but that's beside the point.

    The point is, the deal Carleton has to bring it back to Ottawa is
    with the same group as they worked with before.
    So its at SBP and no place else.
    Sorry Rob, but that's the way it is.
    I'm from Ottawa and I don't like how it was handled here compared to Halifax.