Final 8 notebook: Carleton domination now official

Peter James is in Halifax for the Final 8 and has kindly offered us a daily notebook. This is the sixth and final installment (see parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Be sure to check out his work for Postmedia as well.
  • Carleton Ravens assistant coach Rob Smart played for the school's first national championship team in 2003 and joined in the celebrations of the team's eighth title on Sunday.

    The Ravens got their decade of dominance started with a 57-54 win over Guelph in the 2003 final. Carleton won all three of their games in that tournament by three points.

    "A little bit less stressful than when I won it, but they took care of business today," Smart said after this year's Ravens beat Alberta 86-67 in the final. "Defensively, everybody came to play. When we do that, we're pretty tough."

  • The Ravens are graduating three key parts of this year's championship team. Starters Cole Hobin and Elliot Thompson have both exhausted their eligibility, as has sixth man Willy Manigat.

    "I hope this isn't my last game," Manigat said when asked about his basketball future. "But if it is, it's exactly how I wanted it to end. We'll see."

  • Ravens head coach Dave Smart said he isn't totally sure why his team shot the lights out in the first quarter of Sunday's 86-67 win over Alberta in the CIS final, but he has an idea.

    "Maybe what happened was we hit rock bottom in that first half (Saturday) night in terms of offence. I thought we defended well but offensively we just played scared," he said, referring the team's struggles around the hoop against Fraser Valley in the semifinal. "The second half (against Fraser Valley) and the entire game today, we played with more freedom on offence."

    The Ravens scored 31 points in the first quarter against Alberta, putting the game out of reach before it was 10 minutes old.

  • Intensity levels in fifth-place games can often be lacking, but that wasn't the case Sunday morning as Acadia came back from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Ryerson Rams 90-83 in overtime.

    Oddly, in a game that needed an extra session, there were only two lead changes and the game was only tied four times.

    Acadia led early in the first quarter, but the Rams came back and were ahead after 10 minutes. Ryerson never relinquished that lead until the final minute when Acadia tied it 47 seconds to go. Ryerson went ahead one more time, but Acadia tied with three seconds left, scored the first basket in overtime and pulled away for good.

    Acadia and Ryerson were also the two youngest teams at the tournament, with only one graduating senior between them — the Rams' Luke Staniscia.
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