Women's basketball: Ryerson-Ottawa is kind of important after Calgary's stumble

The Ryerson-Ottawa play-in game on Wednesday is a do-or-done affray for both Top 5 teams, since Calgary's defeat in the Canada West playoffs has put the Dinos at the top of the at-large queue.

The wild-card criteria categories for the women's basketball Final 8 is fairly straightforward, consisting of (1) winning percentage in all games; (2) RPI for non-conference and regular-season games; (3) playoff advancement, how many wins from claiming an automatic berth and (4) Simple Ranking System score for all non-conference and regular-season games, excluding playoffs. Any team which is the only one to lead multiple categories after the conference playoffs gets the berth.

That means it would go to the Dinos, who contrived to lose to Alberta despite attempting 42 more shots from the floor than the Pandas in an 80-78 game last Friday. Calgary is first in Category 2. In Category 1, their .862 all-games winning percentage is also higher than what any of the four OUA semifinalists would have after a defeat on Wednesday.

For purposes of simplicity, this assumes chalk with higher-ranked teams winning. Alberta outranks RSEQ first-place finisher Laval in RPI, SRS and Elo ranking, which seems like a basis for the Pandas to vault to the No. 3 seed. This setup reduces the likelihood of any same-conference semifinal matchups. The last time both reps from a two-berth league were on the

  1. Saskatchewan (Canada West champion). All they do lately is win. Easy to match them up against host Carleton.
  2. Ottawa (OUA champion). Home to Ryerson on Wednesday thanks to a two-point away win against the Rams in January. Ryerson returning the favour would not be a shock.

    Western would host either team in the Critelli Cup, but has lost to both teams.
  3. Alberta (Canada West automatic). Could complicate seeding matters further if they defeat Saskatchewan in the Canada West final.
  4. Western (OUA automatic). Dodged a scare from McMaster with a 64-63 OUA quarterfinal victory last Saturday. Won by nine at Brock in their first matchup against the Badgers.
  5. Laval (RSEQ champion). Got first place in the RSEQ on the margin of four close wins against Bishop's.
  6. UPEI (AUS champion). The Panthers have not made the nationals since 1998. Acadia, which UPEI just edged out for first in the Atlantic, last made the nationals in ... 2019. So the sentimental choice is evident.
  7. Calgary (at large). Attempt 36 threes, retrieve 27 offensive rebounds and lose. C'est la vie in 2020.
  8. Carleton (host). Get two full weeks to prepare for nationals.
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