CIS Announces Final 8 Draw

 

CIS Tournament Field is Finalized, and the Draw Announced

As is the case almost every season at this time, we get thrown a curve ball by the CIS UnknownWildcard / Seeding Committee.  This time around, in the heady stratosphere that is the OUA, we have their 3 teams ranked 1-2-3, including the at-large selection Ottawa, who get the #3 slot, despite losing 3 games since the Christmas Holidays .

Calgary, with 16 consecutive wins, and as the Canada West champions, who had been ranked #4 going into the play-offs, stay behind the OUA ‘super-powers’ !  The committee also have seen fit to place 3 League champions, Ryerson, Calgary and McGill on one side of the draw.

Nonetheless,  it takes 3 wins next week to capture the National Championship, so all we can say from a Canada West  perspective is Go Dinos !  Go Wolf Pack !  Go Thunderbirds!  We will cheer for these 3 teams to represent their teams, schools, and the League with great determination and pride. It will be exciting times with this event in Western Canada for the first time since 1982 in Victoria, when Ken Shields’ Vikes won their 3rd straight title, on their way to 7 in a row.

Seeding for the 2016 CIS Final 8 – National Championship Tournament, Vancouver

1. Ryerson Rams (OUA champions)- 17-2 regular season / 3-0 playoffs
2. Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists)- 16-3 regular season / 2-1 playoffs
3. Ottawa Gee-Gees (At-Large Berth)- 17-2 regular season / 2-1 playoffs
4. Calgary Dinos (Canada West champions)- 17-3 regular season / 4-0 playoffs
5. McGill Redmen (Quebec champions) – 12-4 regular season / 2-0 playoffs
6. Dalhousie Tigers (Atlantic champions) – 13-7 regular season / 2-0 playoffs
7. Thompson R. Wolf Pack (Canada West finalists)-  16-4 r. season / 3-2 playoffs
8. UBC Thunderbirds (Hosts)- 16-4 regular season / 3-1 playoffs

 How these teams got here –
Ryerson Rams –  Ranked #3 going into playoffs, the Rams beat Lakehead 93-71, then Windsor 96-77, and they won the Wilson Cup over Carleton by a 73-68 count.
Carleton Ravens – ranked #1 prior to play-offs, the Ravens, who have won the Nationals for last 5 years, beat Brock 90-52, then Ottawa by 82-74, and dropped the OUA final at Ryerson 73-68.
Ottawa Gee-Gees – were ranked #2 entering the play-offs, and beat Queen’s 73-72, then lost to Carleton 74-82, and won the 3rd place game 90-77 over Windsor . (Selected as the ‘wild-card’ team)
Calgary Dinos – the 4th ranked team before play-offs, Calgary defeated Alberta 2-0 in their best of 3 quarter-final (87-77, 89-76), then beat Manitoba 100-74, and Thompson Rivers 91-84 in the Canada West Final 4.
McGill Redmen – Finished 1st in the RSEQ regular season, then beat Laval 76-69, and UQAM 78-67 in the Quebec Championship Tournament.
Dalhousie Tigers – ranked #10 for the final few CIS rankings periods, the Tigers were the top Atlantic team entering the AUS Tournament.  They beat St. Mary’s 75-74, then won the Atlantic title 87-85 over UPEI.
Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack – un-ranked entering play-offs, the “Pack were as high as #9 in recent rankings periods. TRU took 3 games to beat Regina in the CW Q-finals (94-102, 90-85, 86-73), then beat UBC in the semi-final 72-69, and lost the CW final to Calgary  84-91.
UBC Thunderbirds – The #6 ranked team going into the play-offs, the ‘Birds swept Lethbridge in the Q-finals (81-57, 85-57), then lost the semi to TRU 69-72, and won the CW 3rd place game 101-72 over Manitoba.


 

Tournament Schedule – (Pacific daylight times)

Thursday, March 17 –
1 pm   Q-final 1 …  #2 Carleton vs  #7 Thompson Rivers 

3 pm  Q-final 2 …  # 3 Ottawa vs. # 6 Dalhousie 

6 pm   Q-final 3 … # 4 Calgary vs #  5 McGill    

8 pm   Q-final 4 …  # 1 Ryerson vs  # 8 UBC 

All games streamed live on   CIS TV Live !    

Friday, March 18 –

5 pm  Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

7 pm  Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, March 19 –

12 noon …  5th-place game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)  (Consolation champs)

3 pm  Semifinal 1 … Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *

5:30 pm  Semifinal 2 … Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *

Sunday, March 20 –

2 pm  Bronze medal, 3rd  place game  (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

5:30 pm  Gold medal – Championship Final (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *


 

Overtime –   

  • Just a few of the many fans seen in the stands at the Final 4 in Calgary
    Ken Olynyk, 'Leader of the 'Pack' !

    Ken Olynyk, ‘Leader of the ‘Pack’ ! photo – TRU Athletics

    Ken Olynyk, TRU Athletic Director, also known as ‘Kelly’s Dad’ … Former Dinos Coach Don Newton, with his personal bodyguards, Al Kettles, Skip Morgan, Clarence Amulung … Saskatoon (and now Calgary) super-fan, Spiro Leakos, former owner of the Commodore Cafe in Sask. … new UC Athletic Director, Christine Stapleton, an outstanding coach at Regina, and a great addition for the Dinos program … former Dinos A.D. Ron Wuotila with his family – ‘All Dinos’  … several gentlemen in UBC T-Birds scarves … many more TRU Wolf Pack fans with orange scarves … former Dinos parents Allen Wright, Kent and Barb Milburn, Darryl Fidler, Simon Bekkering … a huge contingent of Dinos alum, including former National team buddies Tom Bishop and Romel Raffin …  Eddie Richardson III , the President of Genesis Basketball, along with his family and friends … John Weiland, legendary local, National, and International referee, now chief evaluator / fan for son Michael, who worked the CW Final game … and the large, raucous,  ‘Jasdeep Gill Fan-Club’ , all of whom were on their feet and rejoicing each time their man merely touched the basketball !

  • The air-horn blowing UC student group, with the tacit approval of event organizers,  who provided a constant din designed to distract and annoy the opposing team must count their mission accomplished.  In our opinion, however, this goes beyond reasonable support for the home team.  It is unsportsmanlike, and should be discouraged by UC Athletics.  Hosting Canada West championship events comes with the responsibility of giving your guests ‘fair play’ and at least a tolerable environment.

Dinos Claim Canada West Crown

 

 

First half scoring out-burst gives Calgary control

Calgary Dinos' Jasdeep Gill raises the Canada West Championship trophy as his teammates look on.

Calgary Dinos’ Jasdeep Gill raises the Canada West Championship trophy  as his teammates look on during post -game celebrations on Saturday..

Calgary Dinos  91  Thompson Rivers Wolf Pack  84 –  In 2008, as were reminding ourselves recently, the Calgary Dinos lost both games as the host of that year’s Final 4, and did not qualify for the CIS Nationals.  It was a crusher, but, that was then, and this young, deep, and determined Dinos crew of 2015-16  didn’t carry that baggage into this weekend’s Canada West Championship Tournament.

 

Winning their 16th straight game and capturing their 6th Canada West crown was no simple task, however; once again spotting their worthy opponents, the TRU Wolf Pack, an early 10 point lead, Calgary played from behind.
But, as they had done last night, that turnaround was fairly quick, and UC led by a 25-21 count after 1st quarter. By that time, Coach Dan Vanhooren had employed 11 players, and he kept coming with fresh troops for much of the 30 minutes to follow. The ‘Pack, who Dinos14were the 16-4 Explorer Division winners, closed the gap later in the game, and took it to the home team with 48% field goal shooting, including 10/16  (63%) from 3 points range.
Thomas Cooper wove some magic in the 2nd quarter to help put Calgary up 53-40 at the break, with a series of nifty mid-range jumpers, and some angled kisses off the glass in traffic; the CW Player of the Year totals 24 for the game and has 4 rebounds/ 5 assists/ 2 steals.  Lars Schleuter did a lot of the heavy defensive work on Wolfram, and still shot it well, with 14 points including 4/7 from 3 point range, plus 6 rebounds. Mitch Ligertwood scored 12 points / 6 boards off the bench, and both Jasdeep Gill (3 steals) and Josh Owen-Thomas counted 11 points apiece.  David Kapinga was clutch for Calgary once more with his 9 points/ 7 assists/ 5 rebs/ 3 steals.
Gerard Gore, a solid 6-6 forward worked his way into the interior of the Calgary defense for many of his 22 points for the Orange, and he claimed 10 rebounds. Volodymyr Iegorov hit for 17 points , with 3/5 from outside, and Reese Pribilsky was 4/5 on his long bombs to score 14 plus 6 rebounds. Josh Wolfram was somewhat held in check by some good Dinos defending, as the 6-11, 5th year all-star counted 15 points and had 8 rebounds.
Calgary forced 17 TRU turnovers to 13 of their own, and they shot 13/15 from the line, with 9/9 by Cooper.
This is the 3rd Canada West win for UC under Coach Vanhooren, and, in a post game interview, Cooper credited the coach for ” …  having the confidence in me and my team.  This win means everything.  This is what we worked for, and we all played our part to get this done.”    Box Score

 


In the ‘3rd place game …

UBC Thunderbirds  101  Manitoba Bisons 72 –  The air was out of the Bisons’ tires as soon as they tipped this one off … 30-10 after 1 quarter.  UBC shoots 50% for the game vs 32% for the Herd.  It was a tough game to get the motivation meter beyond 3/10 for Manitoba, and UBC knew they were prepping for a big CIS Final 8 back home next week.
Conor Morgan scored 28 for the ‘Birds on a red-hot 7/8 from beyond the arc, while rookie guard, Taylor Browne kicked in 15, with 4/5 deep balls. 16/29 as a team from 3 point range will usually put you in good shape !
Keith Omoerah hit 13 points for Manitoba, and both A.J. Bas and Joseph Medrano tallied 12.  Box Score


More CIS Play-off action, Saturday –
Quebec Final – McGill Redmen 78  UQAM Citadins  67
Ontario , Wilson Cup Final – Ryerson Rams  73 Carleton Ravens  68   … and in the 3rd place game there, it was the Ottawa Gee-Gees  90  Windsor  Lancers 77.


 

Overtime –

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  •  So we have our field of 8 teams for the CIS Nationals in Vancouver, March 17-20.  It’s Calgary, Thompson Rivers, and UBC from Canada West … Ryerson, Carleton, and Ottawa representing Ontario … the Quebec champs, McGill, plus the Atlantic Tournament winners, Dalhousie.
  • The CIS selection / seeding committee will make the wildcard selection (Ottawa) official on Sunday, and they will seed the field within a few prescribed guidelines –
    • Conference champions (Calgary, Ryerson, McGill, Dalhousie) must be seeded in the top 6 spots.
    • Trying not to match-up teams from the same conference on the 1st round.
    • The team’s record against all other teams in the championship.
    • Strength of schedule.
    • Playoff performance.
  • How about this, considering all those factors?
    •  1.  Ryerson  vs  8.  UBC
    • 2.  Carleton  vs  7. Thompson Rivers
    • 3.  Calgary  vs  6. Dalhousie
    • 4.  McGill  vs  5. Ottawa

So Impressive, So Overwhelming !

 

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R)  and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

The Scrubb brothers (Phil, L, Thomas, R) and their Carleton teammates celebrate their 2015 CIS Championship

 

Carleton Reign Supreme – 5th Straight Championship

 Carleton  93   Ottawa  46 –  As we all watch the Carleton Ravens systematically and emphatically dismantle the Ottawa Gee-Gees, we realize just how thoroughly this Ravens team dominates Canadian University basketball.  As a fan of the Gee-Gees, or any other team hoping to compete with and defeat Carleton, you are both dismayed and maybe even disgusted with ‘your boys’.

Your hopes are dashed, your team flailing away ineffectively, with that look in their eyes telling us they know they are not going to escape the avalanche. If you were the Nipissing Lakers, then maybe you’re happy just to be there in the OUA, and rub shoulders with the perennial champions in your League . But, on Sunday, in the National Final, we have the ambitious, ascendant Ottawa team, with the 2015 CIS Player of the Year, Johnny Berhanemeskel, and guided by James Derouin, the Coach of the Year.  Ottawa had one of the 2 wins by a CIS team over the Ravens this year, and, in a pre-tournament poll, were favoured by about 60% of respondents to win this Championship, and stop the Carleton string of 4 straight wins.

Phil Scrubb's 28 points led the Ravens  past a stunned Ottawa team.

Phil Scrubb’s 28 points led the Ravens past a stunned Ottawa team.

Well, not so fast, Ottawa !  The Ravens laid waste to Saskatchewan in round 1 –  then dispatched Victoria, who were actually within just 9 points in the Semi-final.  It was suggested by the announcing crew, among others, that Carleton may not have appreciated the ‘early coronation of the Pretenders’, with the laying – on of hardware to the rival coach and star at Wednesday’s CIS Awards.  5th year Ravens’ guard, Phil Scrubb, who was the POY in the 3 previous seasons, and Dave Smart, the many -time National Coach of the Year had, in concert with the rest of the Carleton team, prepared themselves for this much anticipated all-Ottawa match-up as only they can.

From the outset, it was Carleton on the front foot, first to the ball, making the right pass, hitting the shots, and making life generally unpleasant for Ottawa with their swarming, suffocating defense.  Berhanemeskel, who had played so well in similar circumstances last season and this, had no room to operate, and he was 1/7 from the floor late in the opening 20 minutes (1/10 at the end … 8 points). Meanwhile, Phil Scrubb were scoring inside and out, with 16 at the half. It looked bleak for the Ponies and their hopeful but relatively subdued fans.

The seminal moments of this deciding game came in the first 3-4 minutes of the 3rd quarter, with the analysts reaffirming the necessity for Ottawa to stand fast, to mount a come-back, and ‘chip away’ at the Ravens margin. Instead, it was Connor Wood, Victor Raso, and Guillaume Boucard, and then Thomas Scrubb who all poured in shot after shot as the lead swelled to 30 points (57-27) so swiftly that we were stunned by the onslaught.  The frustration for a crestfallen Ottawa team boils over as Coach Derouin makes an ignominious exit after a regrettable 2nd technical foul.  With his team shooting 25% from the floor, Moe Ismail, in 13 minutes off the bench, is the Gee-Gees high man with 10 points.  Box Score

Phil Scrubb scores 28/ 10 assists, Connor Wood, 21, and Thomas Scrubb,  20 pts/ 12 rebs/ 7 assists, with the team at 56% from the floor and 52% from 3 point range!  The Ravens celebration looks most familiar, as they raise the W.P. McGee Trophy for the 5th straight March, and the 12th time in the past 15 seasons.  They graduate star players again this year, as the Scrubb brothers join former Ravens pillars including Phil Larmand, Osvaldo Jeanty, and Tyson Hinz.  The constant, of course, is Dave Smart, surely now the widely acknowledged ‘Greatest Coach Ever’ in the history of Canadian University Basketball. Nobody matches his intensity, fervour, the depth of preparation, and the unabashed conviction of the way he wants his team to play the game.

For now, the Ravens rule the game like no team ever has.  Perhaps the question is not why can’t someone else build a program to compete, but maybe, when might Coach Smart be content with this dynasty, and move on to other challenges. (Not that we’re suggesting he should, or certainly that we might even prefer that he do that … the man is a beacon for excellence, and we are fortunate to have seen his genius in our generation.)

It’s not like James Derouin, Craig Beaucamp (UVic), Barry Rawlyk (Saskatchewan),  and all the other CIS coaches aren’t trying their utmost.  It’s just that Mount Carleton seems so high, and looks, at this point, so unassailable. Hail to the Ravens ! Champions that they are.

 

Rams Win 3rd Place Over Victoria 

Ryerson 82  Victoria 68 – Although the Ryerson Rams fell short in their quest to play for a National title on their home floor, they got some consolation from a solid win over the Victoria Vikes in the 3rd place game on Sunday.  Sparking a withering 2nd half assault by the home team,  Jahmal Jones comes back to hit the shots he was missing in the semi-final loss, as he scores 25 points/ 6 rebs/ 8 assists, and Adika Peter-McNeilly adds 21 points for the Rams.  In his last game for the Vikes, Chris McLaughlin, who is playing this tournament in his native S. Ontario, scores a 22 pt/ 14 rebound double.  Box Score.

 

Overtime – 

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  • We note that UBC is already pumping up the interest for their hosting of next year’s Final 8 Tournament at the new Mitchell Centre on their campus in Vancouver.  The T-Birds will get a host’s berth in that tournament, and, you can be sure that Coach Kevin Hanson will be busy ‘reassembling’ his roster for the 2015-16 season, after he loses Tommy Nixon, Brylle Kamen, and Andrew McGuinness to graduation.
  • Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

    Calgary Dinos recruit, Torrez McKoy of MBCI in Winnipeg.

  • The Calgary Dinos have signed Winnipeg high school player,  Torrez McKoy, a 6-0, ‘lead guard’ , from the Mennonite Bretheren Collegiate Institute.  McKoy was a 1st team all-star as his Manitoba Provincial Team won the Canadian Juvenile Championship  (U17) last summer.  Dinos fans will only hope he has nearly the impact on the program than did outgoing All-Canadian, Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, another Winnipeg product.

 

CIS Final 8 – Schedule Set

 

This week's CIS Final 8 at Ryerson - 1st time ever in Toronto.

This week’s CIS Final 8 at Ryerson – 1st time ever in Toronto.

CIS Final 8 – Tournament Seeding

1. Carleton Ravens (Ontario champions: 17-2 reg. season / 3-0 playoffs)
2. Windsor Lancers (Ontario finalists: 15-5 reg. season / 3-1 playoffs)
3. Ottawa Gee-Gees (Ontario 3rd place: 18-1 reg. season / 2-1 playoffs)
4. Victoria Vikes (Canada West champions: 15-5 reg. season / 4-0 playoffs)
5. Dalhousie Tigers (Atlantic champions: 10-10 reg. season / 3-0 playoffs)
6. Bishop’s Gaiters (Quebec champions: 8-8 reg. season / 2-0 playoffs)
7. Ryerson Rams (Ontario 4th place: 17-2 reg. season / 1-2 playoffs)
8. Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists: 15-5 reg. season / 3-2 playoffs)

 

Tournament Schedule –

Wednesday, March 11 – Team practices, and All – Canadian Awards  

Thursday, March 12 – Quarter-Finals
11 am  – game 1-  # 8 Saskatchewan vs. # 1 Carleton
1 pm –   game 2 –  # 4 Victoria  vs. # 5 Dalhousie                                                     break –                                                                                                                                   6 pm – game 3 – # 7 Ryerson vs. # 2 Windsor                                                                                                  8 pm – game 4 – # 6 Bishop’s  vs. # 3 Ottawa

All games can be seen on (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv

Friday, March 13 Consolation Semis
2 pm –    game 5 – Loser game 1 vs. Loser game 2
4 pm –    game 6 – Loser game 3 vs. Loser game 4

Saturday, March 14 – Consolation Final (5th) and Championship Semis
2 pm –   5th-place game – winners  Games 5/6   (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)  break                                                                                                                                      6 pm  Semifinal 1 – Winners games 1 and  2 (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv)         8:30 pm Semifinal 2: Winners games 3 and  4 (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Sunday, March 15 – 3rd Place game and the Championship Final
11:30 am 3rd place game …  (Rogers TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
3:00 pm   Championship Final  (Sportsnet 360 & ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) **

 

OUA Leads in CIS Tournament Titles with 21

4 teams in this year's Final 8 Tournament.

4 teams in this year’s Final 8 Tournament in Toronto.

Carleton – 10 (2002-2014)

Windsor – 5 * (1963-69 – include Assumption)

Waterloo – 2 (1968 +75)

Brock – 2 (1992 + 2008)

Guelph – 1 (1974)

Western – 1 (1991)

Canada West – 19

Victoria dominated in the 'Ken Shields Era' .

Victoria dominated in the ‘Ken Shields Era’ .

Victoria – 8 (1980-1986 + 1997)

* Brandon – 4 (1987, ’88, ’89 + ’96) ‘GPAC’

Alberta – 3 (1994, ’95, and ’02)

UBC – 2  (1970 and ’72)

Manitoba – 1 (1976)

Saskatchewan – 1 (2010)

Atlantic – 10

Saint Mary’s – 4 ( 1973, ’78, ’79, ’99)

St. FX – 3 (1993, 2000, ’01)

Acadia – 3 (1965, ’71, ’77)

Quebec – 2

Concordia – 1 (1990)

Bishop’s – 1 (1998)

 

Overtime –

Transfer leads to a title for UVic's Mack Roth.

Transfer leads to a title for UVic’s Mack Roth.

  •   UVic’s 4th year transfer,  Mack Roth,  who was born in Saskatoon when his Dad was Head Coach for the Huskies, on how he got to play for the Vikes, “I took a transfer year (after 2 seasons at UBC-O) — I wanted to play for an elite program,” he explained. “(Vikes coach) Craig Beaucamp was great. He brought me on. I worked my way into the rotation.  I’ve been getting a chance to get a lot minutes this year on a very good team. This is a dream come true. I’ve never won anything before, so this feels great.”  By Darren Zary, in the Star-Phoenix.
  • Victoria Coach Craig Beaucamp, on the thrill of winning the Canada West
    Vikes' Craig Beaucamp is no stranger to CIS Tournament play.

    Vikes’ Craig Beaucamp is no stranger to CIS Tournament play.

    Championship for his Vikes, “Getting to Nationals is always the big goal and sometimes teams under estimate the value of winning a conference championship,” added Beaucamp, who wins just his second conference title in his 12-year tenure. “There is still so much pride in winning your conference, as the last time we won was 2006 so, it’s definitely not easy to do. Several of the guys on the team have played through the last two silver medals so it was nice for them to get this win.”  From a post-game report by UVic’s Ali Lee.

  • Saskatchewan Coach, Barry Rawlyk, suggests that UVic might have been better prepared for the Final than his Huskies , “The Vikes were a little better prepared to play in the final than we were,” said Rawlyk. “In hindsight, so much of our preparation was for (semifinal opponent) UBC.  That’s nothing to take away from the Vikings. They played very well tonight. At the end of the day, the game gets closed out or doesn’t get closed out by us.”  From U of S Athletics.