UBC, ‘upon further review’ of the baffling RPI rankings, is not #1 in Canada West
As a legendary Canada West coach used to say, “Assumption is the mother of all ****-ups!” This is certainly the case with our careless deduction regarding final play-off seedings for Canada West. Trusting (gullible) souls that we are, we reason that a 19-1 record will give a team a better spot than a 16-4. Well, not so fast!
In the mysterious world of the RPI, we wrongly assumed that ‘things would eventually ‘balance out’ over the season. But no …. There is, in fact, no logical scenario for wins and losses over the final weeks where UBC can finish at #1. Using the brilliant Canada West Playoff what-if planning tool , as devised by the incredible Dr. Martin Timmerman as part of his amazing U-Sports Hoops web-site, we can plot these possibilities. Go to the site. Follow the link. Feed in your game by game predictions, then hit the ‘Press this button to see the overall ….” , and Shazzam ! You get the final RPI ratings using your guesses.
Are the T-Birds on top of the RPI stats, even when they win-out, and have a clear best of 19-1? No. Redo it, with some other results; maybe someone will sweep, or another pair will split. Do it many times over (using common sense picks, however). UBC is not #1 in any case we’ve tried. UBC Coach Kevin Hanson doesn’t want to focus on this, as he says, ” … there are 3 weekends left to play. We all knew the RPI rule was being used with the intent to help balance an unbalanced schedule. I will reserve to comment until the rest of the league games are completed.” The #2 ranked team in U-Sports Canada rankings will not, it appears now, have the inside track at hosting the Canada West Final 4.
We have to move on, and talk about the week’s schedule. If you want to look ahead to play-off probabilities, you can use the ‘Shazam ‘ planning tool at U-Sportshoops.
The Ravens knocked their Ottawa cousins down a notch, and UBC are back at #2. Ryerson are unbeaten in OUA action, and will be pointing to their game at McMaster, then on to Brock later in the week. Calgary goes on the road to Regina, and will be ‘circling the wagons’ to try and maintain their clean slate of away wins. A move by the Saskatchewan Huskies into the #9 spot, as they are tougher as the season progresses. Neither McGill nor Dalhousie demonstrate total confidence in their Quebec and Atlantic races. Threats to their position from Concordia, Laval in the RSEQ and UNB, Saint Marys, St. FX in the AUS.These are both play-off questions.
Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28
UNBC at Manitoba – The Timberwolves are clearly the underdogs against the surging Bisons. UNBC will be scratching to add scoring, and to slow down Justus Alleyn, AJ Basi, Keith Omoerah and the rest of the Herd. 8 pm Central on Fri, the 6 pm Sat.
#5 Calgary at Regina – The Dinos, with their more vigorous and ‘all-in’ defensive effort should frustrate the sputtering Cougars. Calgary will be looking for efficient offense, and more cohesion from their 12 man rotation. Regina is at home, and need a win to help with playoff hopes. 8 pm Central both games.
Mount Royal at #9 Saskatchewan – Nobody said it would be easy, and MRU, after 2 losses to UBC, are now at Saskatchewan, the only team to have a win over the Thunderbirds. Tough indeed. Brett Layton and Josh Ross will have their hands full with Shane Osayande and Matt Forbes. 8 pm Central for both.
Winnipeg at MacEwan – Is Winnipeg for real? They are ‘under the radar’, even at 9-5. Some say ‘easy schedule’, but the Wesmen face road games against an experienced and under-rated Mac crew. Not a runaway here for Ryan Oirbans, Sean Tarver against Adonis Monfort- Palomino, Keith Gerdes and company. 8 pm Mountain on Fri, 7 pm Sat
UBC-Okanagan at Lethbridge – The Pronghorns are motivated by play-off possibilities, while the Heat have to be content to play ‘spoiler’ here. Dejon Burdeaux and Elliott Sentance vs Aldrich Berrios and Mitch Goodwin is an interesting match-up. Games are Friday at 8 pm Mountain, and Sat at 7 pm .
Thompson Rivers at Fraser Valley – This is the ‘Feature Series of the Week’, and one with so many possibilities. Old foes dating back to College League days, these two schools have both had success in Canada West . UFV’s guard play (Manny Dulay, Vijay Dhillon) make them slim home favourites. But can the Cascades handle rebounder/scorers Volodymyr Iegorov and Michael Rouault off the Wolf Pack? Fri – 8 pm and Sat – 7pm Pacific
Brandon at #2 UBC – Just when the Bobcats were building some momentum, they fly to the Coast for a most demanding test against the League -leaders. UBC’s Conor Morgan vs Brandon’s Earl Thompson Jr. Tyvon Cooper for the ‘Cats and Jordan jensen-Whyte of the ‘Birds. Too much firepower from the Thunderbirds, you would think. These games are 7 pm Pacific both Friday / Saturday
Trinity Western at Victoria – Two ‘must-haves’ for the Vikes. Grant Sitton welcomes more help; he has Scott Kellum, Justin Kinnear, now who else will step up? TWU have a new spirit in their ‘team under construction’. If their guards can compete, their big men can give UVic some trouble. Friday at 8 pm Pacific, and Saturday at 7 pm.
Alberta gets the bye this week.
- Canada West corrected their RPI calculations (which, admittedly, can be very tricky), and the Manitoba Bisons are at .5872, the 5th highest in the League. That makes more sense, since they won 2 games. Teams can drop, if they play a lower-ranking opponent, as the Herd did with TWU. The Manitoba drop first reported as .4964, however, seemed far too great. MRU was also corrected to .4964 (not .4704 as originally posted).
- If teams are tied for the final playoff spot, the tie breakers will be – 1. Results between the 2 teams 2. Record vs common opponents 3. RPI rating Once the 12 teams for play-offs have been decided, they will be seeded 1-12 by their RPI ranking.
- UFV Coach Adam Friesen with his thoughts about TRU this week. ““We know they’re going to be hard-nosed, they’re going to be tough inside, and they’re going to be throwing a bunch of different defences at us to try to throw us off,” UFV bench boss Adam Friesen said. “Volodymyr Iegorov is one of the best players in our league, if not the country, so we’ve got our hands full with him.” From Adam Kinvig , Fraser Valley Athletics
- From the OUA tonight – #4 Ryerson 99 at McMaster 77