Bronze Baby Bracketology: Carleton likely wrests No. 1 seed; will committee split up OUA and Canada West

A juxtaposition of the sportgeist in Canada in 2017. On Friday in Kingston, 700 people watched the men's team in our national sporting obsession play for a berth in the Canadian championship. On Saturday, there was a turn-away crowd of 1,900-plus to watch the women's basketball team at the same school. Don't worry, surely no one in a position of influence to do anything about the media coverage noticed.

Anyway, the carefully plotted brackets have been reduced to rumble like the protagonist in the second act of a Will Ferrell comedy:

  • Regina has the nation's highest winning percentage, highest SRS of any automatic qualifier and probably the highest RPI if playoff games were counted. The Canada West banner, though, is presumably in Saskatchewan coach Lisa Thomaidis' office and not in Regina coach Dave Taylor's at this writing, though.

    Pro tip: never let the championship banner out of your sight, what with the memorabilia market being what it is these days.
  • Carleton was the third seed in the OUA and this site's SRS had them fourth, but under traditional standings they would have finished first with an 18-1 record and a tiebreaker against Queen's.
  • Saskatchewan is the lone top seed to emerge as a playoff champion
  • Each bye team at AUS Final 6 was ousted on Saturday, setting up an unlikely Acadia-Cape Breton final on Sunday. Acadia has doubled its postseason win total from this century within the last 48 hours.
Any way, the opinion here is that after defeating McMaster on a neutral floor in an auto-berth game and holding Queen's to its fourth-lowest and lowest scoring outputs of the season on the Gaels' home floor, the Ravens have to be No. 1. Heather Lindsay, Catherine Traer, Elizaberth Leblanc, et al., smothered -- what else do you call it? -- two very good teams this weekend.

The first four are Carleton, Regina, Queen's and Saskatchewan. It's hard to see how Regina should be any lower than No. 2, even if it is the Canada West runner-up. Saskatchewan should get some bump for winning a banner, in spite of the fact it was RPI-aided.

The question is whether the committee will split them up to avoid potential rematches in the semifinal.

  1. Carleton (OUA champion). Second season in a row OUA has a first-time women's basketball champion. Ryerson did so last season, also on the road, and went on to silver nationally.
  2. Regina (Canada West auto berth). They've very capable of Giles!
  3. Saskatchewan (Canada West champion). Shout-out to Huskies wing Megan Lindquist, who went the full 40 minutes in both games this weekend. They lost a lot from the 2016 championship team, but still had Sabine Dukate to keep a firm handle on the offence.
  4. Queen's (OUA auto-berth). The guiding thought was to rank the teams in order of merit. There is nothing in the rules about putting  a conference's two reps on opposite sides so they can meet in the final and avoid meeting in the semifinal.
  5. McGill (RSEQ champion). Six conference titles in a row.
  6. Cape Breton (AUS champion). When they were losing five consecutive games late in the regular season, they weren't gettin' killed out there, they were getting mad! Congrats Capers!
  7. Laval (at large). They have the criteria. Walt White had the chemistry.
  8. Victoria (host). And what a fine host they are.

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