Women's basketball: 2012 Final 8 quarterfinal preview

Here's our game-by-game look at Saturday's quarterfinals in the 2012 women's basketball Final 8. Another post will follow on Sunday morning ahead of the two semifinal games.

"Odds" and "Game odds" mean the odds of winning the tournament and of winning this game, respectively. W-L record, RPI, and SRS are available here. "Top 100 players" refers to our player rankings. "Previous meetings" refers only to this year and includes non-conference and playoff games; it seems three of these matchups have not happened in at least a few years. The predicted score is based on each team's offensive and defensive ratings (points per 100 possessions), pace factor (possessions used per game), and SRS.

The average RPI rank among Final 8 teams is 6th, and the average SRS is +12.1. For those who care about such things, the top 10 teams (in either RPI or SRS) who are not at the tournament, along with their reasons for elimination, are:
  • Carleton (SRS +11.4, 8th in RPI) — Lost OUA semifinal to Windsor and OUA bronze to Brock.

  • UFV (SRS +10.2, 9th in RPI) — Lost CW semifinal to Regina, CW bronze to Saskatchewan, and East regional semifinal to Ottawa.

  • Cape Breton (SRS +9.7, 7th in RPI) — Lost AUS final to Acadia and East regional semifinal to Windsor.

  • Alberta (SRS +8.8, 10th in RPI) — Lost CW quarterfinal series to UBC.
(The other team to advance to a regional, Brock, finished 12th in SRS with +6.3 and 11th in RPI.)

Quarterfinal 1: 12:00pm MT
SeedTeamW-LOddsRPISRSGame odds

It's the only first-round matchup between conference champions, but UBC is still nearly an even shot to win not only this game but their next as well (44% chance of advancing to Monday's final).

McGill's chances of winning this tournament, on the other hand, are the lowest among all teams here (less than one in 40). Part of that, though, is their exhibition schedule bringing them down: they played ten games, but only one was on the road (so they couldn't rack up road wins) and just four of them were against top 10 opponents (so their strength of schedule couldn't increase that much).

It's certainly possible that they could beat better teams, had they played them; we just don't have the evidence so far to indicate that. (The effective field-goal percentage of just 43% doesn't help, either.)

Top 100 players from UBC: Kris Young (9), Zara Huntley (20), Alex Vieweg (21), Leigh Stansfield (96)

Top 100 players from McGill: Françoise Charest (84)

Previous meetings: none.

Prediction: UBC 66, McGill 58

Quarterfinal 2: 2:00pm MT
SeedTeamW-LOddsRPISRSGame odds

The closest game of the first round, and it's good they moved this tournament to a Sat-Sun-Mon format because having these teams play in a Friday afternoon dead slot would be unfortunate.

The Gee-Gees will pretty much get all the rebounds: they picked up 45% of available rebounds on their offensive glass (best in the country) and nearly 74% defensively (seventh-best).

Now that I've said it'll be a close one, I can't help but look at those rebound numbers, and at Saskatchewan's defence (87 points against per 100 possessions, 42% effective field-goal percentage against) and turnover rate, and think there's serious potential for things to go wrong for the Huskies here. For the sake of having close games I hope I'm wrong.

Top 100 players from Ottawa: Hannah Sunley-Paisley (3), Jenna Gilbert (28), Bess Lennox (34), Kellie Ring (51)

Top 100 players from Saskatchewan: Dalyce Emmerson (10), Katie Miyazaki (13), Kelsey Trulsrud (87), Kabree Howard (95)

Previous meetings: none.

Prediction: Ottawa 69, Saskatchewan 61

Quarterfinal 3: 5:00pm MT
SeedTeamW-LOddsRPISRSGame odds

Funny how things work. Acadia's seeding in this tournament was probably more well-received than the Axemen's No. 8 seed and first-round date with Carleton last week ... but, really, the Axewomen are also playing the defending champion after having won the AUS championship.

True, Windsor didn't dominate the league this year like the Carleton men did (nobody could ... except Carleton from now on, I suppose), but given that this Acadia team finished 4th overall in RPI with an SRS above +10, and the men's team was merely 13th entering last weekend with an SRS of +5.9, you could argue that the women's team deserves this matchup even less than the men did.

In any case, this is certainly an offensively-stacked Windsor team, but did you know the Axewomen actually have the best Offensive Rating in the country, at 108 points scored per 100 possessions to Windsor's 105? (CBU is second at 107.) I did not. And with three of the top 10 players in this game (or eight of the top 33, even), it's definitely one to watch.

Top 100 players from Windsor: Jessica Clémençon (4), Miah-Marie Langlois (6), Bojana Kovacevic (15), Korissa Williams (33)

Top 100 players from Acadia: Emma Duinker (8), Kristy Moore (23), Abbey Duinker (26), Stefanie Chapman (32), Jasmine Parent (91)

Previous meetings: none.

Prediction: Windsor 73, Acadia 65

Quarterfinal 4: 7:00pm MT
SeedTeamW-LOddsRPISRSGame odds

Closer than it appears at first glance — the home-court advantage gives the Dinos about a three- or four-point boost, or about five points of winning percentage — but ultimately the most one-sided game in the first round. Still, even if there are no 50-50 games here, there are also no 90-10 games (or even 80-20), an indicator of the even set of quarterfinals we have.

It's good that the men's rule about conference-mates not meeting in the first round doesn't apply here (or, at least, it was relaxed in this case). With Regina and UBC at 1 and 2, you'd need to push both Calgary and Saskatchewan to sixth or higher, which would give either Windsor or Ottawa the 7 seed — a worse outcome than two CW teams playing in the quarterfinals.

The Dinos do a lot of things well, but they turn the ball over nearly a quarter of the time. How bad is that? There were only five teams with a higher turnover rate than Calgary this year (Waterloo, RMC, Manitoba, Laurentian, Brandon) and they combined for a 10-120 overall record.

Also, the Cougars don't do anything wrong.

Top 100 players from Regina: Michelle Clark (22), Joanna Zalesiak (37), Lindsay Ledingham (42), Brittany Read (63), Danielle Schmidt (70), Carly Graham (94)

Top 100 players from Calgary: Jenna Kaye (7), Alex Cole (58), Tamara Jarrett (59), Jessica Franz (69), Megan Lang (97)

Previous meetingsRegina 87, Calgary 80 (Oct. 29); Regina 69, Calgary 54 (Nov. 18); Regina 84, Calgary 67 (Nov. 19).

Prediction: Regina 79, Calgary 67
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  1. A fair assessment. Needs some questioning of the seeding however. When the defending champs return all 5 starters and are seeded N0. 4 there's a problem which the first day's action verifies.
    Regina got walloped in their final game yet remained No.1.

  2. I like this blogger's sense of humour and objectivity. Can't wait for the sunday semi preview.