Monday, March 19, 2012

Two relatively interesting semifinals provided the entertainment Sunday night.

  • Ottawa/UBC — predicted a 67-63 UBC win. Actual result: UBC 59, Ottawa 51. Not quite a game for the ages (you kind of need overtime or a Stu Turnbull Special for that), but just about as good as you could ask for, between two very good teams.

    It was tied at 49 with 4:35 left but the Gee-Gees would only make one more shot the rest of the way. Both sides were making some questionable passing decisions near the end — though obviously the results of those five minutes dictate that Ottawa U made most of them.

    In fact, for Ottawa, there were more than a few instances where they were pressured outside and put up a bad three-pointer (they were 5/20 on those) or tried a cross-court pass only to see Kris Young spontaneously materialize and take it the other way. One particularly unfortunately-timed turnover by Kellie Ring sticks in the mind, though it apparently didn't make the play-by-play so I may be misremembering.

  • Windsor/Calgary — predicted a 72-58 Windsor win. Actual result: Windsor 81, Calgary 71.

    Back in my days at Waterloo, they would request that you stand and clap until the home side scored their first basket in each half. (They probably still do this, but there's no evidence anyone attends Waterloo games so I can't be sure.) It was supposed to encourage the Warriors to score, a motivator not unlike those little rings engineers need to wear so they're reminded to do their jobs properly, but invariably the team would choose these exact time periods to waste lots of possessions throwing the ball vaguely netwards. They'd be outscored 12-0 and eventually make the fans give up and sit down or risk clapping their hands raw.

    I may be exaggerating for effect. The point is: the beginning of this game was just as bad as that. Calgary didn't make a field goal for the first six and a half minutes.

    Aside from that, neither side really had a problem putting points on the board: in the second half, when things were mostly already squared away, the teams combined for an effective 63% (no, really), featuring some "NBA all-star game"-level defence. Regardless, the opening 17-4 deficit was just too much for the Dinos to come back from.

    Upset over Regina or no, this one goes to show you that the preceding 33 games also matter when trying to figure out how well a team will do in their next game. The Lancers were a +20 team this year in a league where the average team scored 65.5 per game. That's the equivalent of +23.7 for a men's team (in a higher scoring environment) and only the Carleton Ravens topped that mark. In basketball you often have to make bad shots, because you only have 24 seconds and eventually someone has to put the ball in the air. Windsor, however, ignores these previously-immutable rules of basketball and just passes it around quickly and crisply four times until the defence is trying to rotate in eight directions at once.

Final: 7:00pm MT

SeedTeamW-LOddsRPISRS
2UBC26-3
43%
2nd
+15.9
4Windsor33-4
57%
3rd
+19.8

It's the third-straight appearance in the national final for these Lancers, and their third different opponent. The first time they lost to a basically undefeated, powerhouse Simon Fraser team. Last year they won against Saskatchewan.

UBC won the Bronze Baby in 2008, with both Alex Vieweg and Zara Huntley seeing time in the 67-46 win (five points in a combined 22 minutes).

Previous meetings: None.

UBC's previous starting lineup: Alex Vieweg (ranked 21st), Kristen Hughes (137), Kris Young (9), Zara Huntley (20), Leigh Stansfield (96)

Windsor's previous starting lineup: Iva Peklova (ranked 136th), Jessica Clémençon (4), Miah-Marie Langlois (6), Emily Abbott (287), Bojana Kovacevic (15)

Prediction: Windsor 69, UBC 64


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3 comments:

  1. After a promising start this blog deteriorated almost by the sentence. Initially, solid little capsulses with humourous commentary became disinterested self-obsessed musing as the author devoted most of Day 2 to his own experiences at a once proud university now a laughing stock in athletics (and business too if RIM is an indicator)
    An absolute overpowering coronation of a team that never trailed in the entire tournament and won all 3 games by double digit margins was somehow undeserving of an entry. Meanwhile the blog moves on to cover a bunch of washed up CIS hockey players too slow, soft and bad to make it in the pros so they bully 19 yr old guys trying to play university hockey. Grow up!!!

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  2. Well, Iris, if you can do better, volunteer your services! You are aware the final started at 9 p.m. Eastern on a Monday night and Brian and Rob each have full-time jobs, they had to GET SOME SLEEP before working the next day.

    Congrats to Coach Vallee and the Lancers, they are great sportspeople in every sense of the world.

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  3. Iris, if you knew anything about CIS hockey you'd realize that while almost all of them won't play in the NHL, they are for the most part using their education packages, earned while playing for free for for-profit Junior teams, to get a mostly free education before they move onto the minor pros or life outside hockey (instead of going directly from Junior to the minor pros). A good chunk of them from the better CIS teams do play minor pro hockey in the States or Europe when the graduate.

    Here's a reality for you: More CIS hockey players probably end up earning a pay cheque playing professional hockey after the CIS, albeit in pro leagues you may have never heard of, than all other CIS athletes combined. And a few of them like Joel Ward, Mathieu Darche, and Darryl Boyce, end up making at least $500K per year in the NHL. Can any other CIS student-athletes ever aspire to make that kind of money in their sport?

    So yes, you've hit a nerve with that ill-informed washed up and soft crap. You do know there is other hockey outside the 700 players in the NHL, and that the CIS is the TOP level of amateur hockey in Canada (as it comes AFTER Junior.

    ReplyDelete