CANHoops.ca OUA 2015-16 All-Stars


Given the relative balance of the OUA this season – unlike many recent seasons the lack of overt dominance made selecting First Team all-stars and league MVP a bit more challenging.  Still, in my opinion, my choice for MVP proved his meddle throughout the most important pieces of the season and with several dominant performances earned this honour… more below…

First Team OUA All-Stars

6’1″ Michael L’Africain, uOttawa (5th Year guard)… The fifth-year pg took the “horses” reigns (so-to-speak), especially in the second half of the season when Gee-Gees lost star wing Caleb Agada for an extended period.  In the 12 games after the Holidays, L’Africain averaged 22.5 ppg and his value was more than evident when he had to sit with foul trouble in the second half of the Ryerson game, allowing Rams to make their run back to win.  Overall season numbers are stellar:  20.4 PPG, 48% FG, 42% from 3, 86% FT% and 5.3 assists per game (2nd in OUA).  Well-deserving of a First-team all-star and my choice for OUA Player-of-the-Year.

6’5″ Aaron Best, Ryerson (5th Year wing)… Bounced back after a first-half injury to propel the Rams to their first-ever #1 regular season OUA ranking and in position to host the Wilson Cup, Best high-flying acrobatics were on display as he unofficially led the OUA in highlight-reel dunks with several spectacular transition finishes that turned momentum in games.  Best was an efficient shooter (51% FG, 43.5% 3 pt. FG) and was in the Top 10 in both scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg).  The fifth-year senior was the main catalyst in Ryerson’s top finish.

6’7″ Dani Elgadi, Brock (3rd Year forward)… The clever forward led the Badgers to their first playoff appearance in 4 seasons with a solid offensive campaign (19.9 ppg/11.7 rpg) with 9 games of 20+ points and a season-high 36 in last Wednesday’s loss to Mac.  Still, Brock did stumble down the stretch, finishing the season winning just 5 of their final 10 games and while many had been touting him for OUA POY and All-Canadian, Elgadi’s numbers against the top teams in the country were just ordinary:  in consecutive home games against Carleton and Ottawa, Elgadi shot just 8 for 28 and averaged just 12 ppg vs. his season average of 19.9 ppg.  Still, the Badgers remain a Top 10 team ostensibly because of the terrific season Elgadi fashioned.

6’4″ Leon Alexander, McMaster (4th year wing)… With 27 points in the upset win vs. Ottawa and 28 at Brock this past Wednesday night, the bulky, athletic, rim-attacking wing produced his best when it mattered most, leading Mac to a first-round playoff bye and home quarter-final game.  His value to McMaster was also evident at Lakehead when he missed the second game – one of only 3 Mac losses after Christmas.  Alexander averaged a team-leading 18.8 ppg and almost 6 rebounds per game for #4 seeded team in the province.

6’4″ Alex Campbell, Windsor (5th Year wing)… Arguably the reason why Windsor got the #5 seed winning their last 9 games in a row.  Campbell had numerous games of 20+ points and finished among the league leaders in scoring (21.5 ppg), rebounding (6.6 rpg) and assists (3.2 per game).  If history repeats, expect his game to escalate in the post-season.

Second Team OUA All-Stars

6’3″ Greg Morrow, Western (5th year wing)… OUA’s leading scorer who faced double and triple teams all season.  With a better team record and supporting cast could have easily been a first-teamer and arguably still should be.

6’2″ Kaza Keene, Carleton (4th year guard)… Led the entire OUA in assists with 6.6 per game and was Ravens most consistently creative offensive player.  The main decision maker on the #3 team in Canada.

6’3″ Sukhpreet Singh, Queen’s (4th year wing)… With several 30+ point games in the second half of the season including 39 at Carleton, 36 vs. Lakehead and 30 vs. Windsor down the stretch, Singh was the main offensive driver in Gaels second place finish and home playoff game.

6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly, Ryerson (4th Year wing)… While the numbers do not at first glance appear to be All-Star-esque (15.1 ppg), Peter-McNeilly has been a solid leader for the #1 seeded team in the OUA and essentially rescued Rams this past weekend with a dramatic three at Queen’s.

6’5″ Guillaume Boucard, Carleton (5th year forward)… Undersized post who battled injuries early but was a consistent producer with surprisingly good numbers (14.6 ppg, 54% FG, 56% 3PG, 5.5 rpg, 2.2 apg).

Third Team OUA All-Stars

6’3″ Devin Johnson, Toronto (4th year forward)… Blues top player who averaged 22.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

6’3″ Caleb Agada, uOttawa (4th year wing)… Was a Player-of-the-Year candidate prior to his injury which slowed him down immensely.  When healthy, he is an All-Canadian-type talent.  Maybe a little harsh for missing 5 games plus not being 100% for a couple of others.  Certainly would have pushed L’Africain for POY if healthy.

6’5″ Bakarius Dinkins, Lakehead (5th year forward)… Tough post player who had several big games including keying two big home wins at home vs. McMaster.

6’5″ Johnell Simpson, Brock (2nd year forward)… Consistent scorer who sometimes is prone to tough shot selection but the slick forward scored in double figures in all but one game.  Averaged 16.6 ppg but shot just 39% from the floor and 32% from the three.

6’5″ Troy Joseph, McMaster (5th year forward)… Had a solid finish to the season, highlighted by 7-9 shooting from 3 in Marauders most important win of the season, a comeback victory over uOttawa.  Averaged 13.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg.

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER/PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR

Mike L’Africain, uOttawa

 

OUA All-Freshman Team:

Simon Mikre, Laurier

Isiah Osborne, Windsor

Devon Williams, Toronto

Anthony Iacoe, Laurentian

Tyler Brown, Brock.

 

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Eligibility issue reverses OUA playoff seedings


In what is rapidly turning into a bizarre chain of events beginning with a summer NCAA vs. CIS game involving a player no longer active, we are learning that there has been a change in the OUA playoff seedings.  As of this morning, Queen’s Gaels will now be hosting U of T Varsity Blues instead of York Lions on Wednesday night, ostensibly because the Lions used 6’1″ Raheem Isaac for 9 games earlier this season before he was released from the team.  Isaac had also played in two games for Windsor in August during Lancers NCAA/CIS series vs. Indianapolis at the St. Denis Center.  By allowing Isaac to play for them after suiting up for a different OUA team in the same season, apparently by ruling, York forfeits at least the 9 games Isaac played in and as such U of T finishes third in the OUA Central.  Still no word on why Toronto will go to Queen’s:  clearly with U of T in the playoffs instead of York, RPI- calculated seedings are very likely change, throwing the entire bracket into uncertainty.  With it being Monday morning and games on Wednesday and the other 6 playoff teams already preparing for their initial opponents, OUA likely was trying to think practically in the adjusted bracket.  Hope to have more on this wild change of events later.

RSEQ Final 4 is set !


By virtue of UQAM’s 81-76 win at home on Saturday night over Laval, the RSEQ Final 4 is set:  Citadins have clinched at least third place, relegating the Rouge et Or to a fourth-place finish.  Even if Laval defeats Bishop’s at home next weekend and UQAM loses both of their final games (vs. Concordia, at McGill), Citadins own the tie-breaker between the two teams.  Previously, McGill clinched first place and UQAM cannot catch Concordia for second (see more below).

As we shared yesterday, Laval had already clinched a playoff spot by virtue of Redmen’s win at home over Bishop’s.  Thus, the RSEQ Final 4 – to be played a week from this coming Friday and Saturday (March 11th and 12th) at McGill is set:

RSEQ Semi-Finals:

Laval at McGill

Concordia vs. UQAM.

While McGill, first-place finishers, playing at home and being a Top 10 team all season long, should be the “first-glance” favorite against Laval, a closer look reveals that Rouge et Or gave the Redmen major difficulties all season long.  While McGill took 3 of the 4 games played between the two teams, Laval hammered the Redmen by 20+ in January and led by 23 late in the third quarter of their second meeting in Ste. Foy before McGill staged an unlikely comeback.  Unlikely because Laval’s Big 3 of 6’6″ Alexandre Leclerc, 6’5″ Thibault Dezutter and 6’0″ Karl Demers-Belanger have been having their way with the Redmen, breaking down defenders off the dribble and knocking down shots.  And with the post-Christmas additions of 6’0″ Vladimir Thomas and 6’5″ Frantson Demosthene, Laval has even more quality depth to match McGill, which was touted to have the strongest bench in the conference.

Before 6’8″ Noah Daoust awoke the Redmen last weekend at Laval, McGill looked like a defeated team, outclassed by the more athletic and stronger Rouge et Or.  Laval simply matches up very well with McGill and if there is to be an upset in the RSEQ tournament, look to that game a week from Friday night as the potential to disrupt the “Q”.

Concordia and UQAM face off in the other semi-final and the Stingers are 3-0 against their cross-town rivals with a meaningless meeting this Thursday night at UQAM in the wings before the two athletic teams get going for keeps a week from Friday at McGill.

RSEQ Standings

McGill 11-4

Concordia 9-6

UQAM 7-7

Laval 6-9

Bishop’s 4-11

CANHoops.ca CIS Top 10 for 28th February 2016


#1 Ottawa (27-4, 17-2) (LW #1)… Gee-Gees had a pair of relatively easy victories at Nipissing and Laurentian on the weekend although Ottawa trailed in Sudbury early in the second half and led by only 5 late in the third when underrated 6’6″ forward Matt Plunkett buried back-to-back 3’s, part of a 16-2 run that put the game away.  OUA Player-of-the-Year candidate 6’1″ Mike L’Africain had 22 points and 8 assists in the victory.  This coming Saturday, Ottawa will host the winner of the York at Queen’s first-round playoff game to be played in Kingston on Wednesday night.

#2 Ryerson (21-3, 17-2) (LW #2)…   Rams laboured in both of their weekend games, requiring a last-second three by 6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly to outlast Queen’s by 1 on Friday and then were tested well into the fourth quarter last night at York before pulling away.  These two victories were critical to Rams retaining the OUA #1 seed and the right to host the Wilson Cup Final 4 should they defeat the winner of the Western/Lakehead match-up to be played Wednesday in London.  6’7″ J.V. Mukama, who had been the most complete player on Rams through their tough stretch of games against Carleton, Ottawa and Brock, had missed time and did return for 17 minutes last night at York.  Ryerson also got back 6’6″ Juwan Grannum, one of their more underrated contributors, but 6’5″ Ammanuel Diressa missed last night’s game with a leg injury.  Rams are home on Saturday looking to clinch a spot at the Wilson Cup, which would likely be held upstairs in the larger facility at Mattamy Center.

#3 Carleton (21-4, 16-3) (LW #3)…  Somewhat under the radar, the Ravens are getting back to their tough, defensive ways, locking down teams and beginning to get contributions from deeper in their bench.  Carleton hosts the winner of Brock/Laurier next Saturday night at the Raven’s Nest and have been holding teams to below 30% shooting recently.  Key to the Ravens are their pair of upper-classmen in 6’4″ Connor Wood and 6’5″ Guillaume Boucard, expected to lead the current version of the 5-time defending national champions.

#4 Calgary (24-6, 17-3) (LW #4)…   Today’s last second “and 1” by Alberta’s freshman Dwan Williams (Toronto Oakwood) in the third and deciding game of the “Battle of Edmonton” ensures that Calgary will host the Golden Bears in a Canada West quarter-final series.  Bears 6’6″ forward Mamadou Gueye had 29 points in the win.  Calgary swept the season series with a solid win at Alberta two weeks ago after winning easily at home before Christmas.  A victory in the Best-of-3 series in the Jack Simpson Gym would vault the Dinos into the CW Final 4 with the tournament taking place at home at the “Jack”.

#5 UBC (19-5, 16-4) (LW #5)…   T-Birds finished in 2nd spot in the Pioneer and are set to host a Canada West quarter-final home series against Lethbridge Pronghorns, 4th in the Pioneer, beginning this Thursday night in Vancouver.  UBC swept Lethbridge at home during the first week in January, out-rebounding the Horns in both games and shooting 48% themselves.  Lethbridge continues to hope that  6’1″ Dejon Burdeaux will return after an ankle injury sustained last weekend.  UBC retains the automatic host bid for the Nationals but has sites set on another Canada West playoff crown.

#6 Manitoba (19-10, 15-5) (LW #6)  Manitoba’s first home playoff series since 2003-04 begins this Thursday against Fraser Valley Cascades – second in the Explorer Division.  Teams met in the pre-season (October 24th) on a neutral floor at the Duckworth Center as part of the Winnipeg tournament and Cascades, after taking an early 20 point lead, held on to win 72-67.  Bisons played that game without 6’4″ Keith Omoerah and 6’7″ Jonathan Alexander.  Bisons are looking for their first playoff series win in 15 seasons.  Bisons have not played in almost 3 weeks after winning 7 consecutive and 16 of their past 19 games.

#7 McMaster (18-6, 14-5) (LW #8)…  Marauders were solid during a pair of road victories this week at Brock and at Guelph, clinching OUA Central and earning a first-round bye and #4 seed in OUA playoffs.  6’4″ Leon Alexander‘s resurgence (24 ppg average this week) has help Mac finish the regular season winning 5 of their past 6 games.  A potential quarter-final re-match with Windsor looms next Saturday giving Mac the opportunity to potentially exorcise some demons from last season’s upset playoff loss, also at home.

#8  Brock (20-6, 13-6) (LW#7)…  With an opportunity to capture #4 seed in the OUA, Badgers lost their rivalry game vs. McMaster in front of 2,800 fans at the Meridian Center and, even after Saturday’s victory at Guelph, have dropped to #6 seed.  Still, Brock has made the playoffs for the first time since ’12-’13 and hosts a first-round playoff game (Wednesday vs. Laurier).  6’5″ Dani Elgadi appears to have broken out of a late season slump with a 36 point game vs. Mac.

#9 Dalhousie (19-8, 13-7) (LW #9)  Tigers had clinched first-place last weekend however Friday’s night’s exciting loss at Cape Breton, when freshman Jack MacAulay launched a desperation 3 from the right corner with no time remaining can be cause for some worry.  Dal struggled at the free throw line late, twice having a chance to clinch it.  6’2″ Kashrell Lawrence was outstanding and 5’11” Ritchie Kanza-Mata remains the underlying key at both ends for the defending AUS tournament champions, who await the winner of Thursday’s Saint Mary’s/UNB quarter-final.

#10 McGill (19-5, 11-4) (LW #10)  For a team that has shot ~23% from downtown after Christmas,  a 7 for 17 (42%) effort from beyond the arc was confidence building for the Redmen.  McGill’s 30 point home win on Saturday vs. Bishop’s eliminated the Gaiters from the post-season and completed a 4-game Redmen sweep of the season series.  McGill is likely to face Laval in the RSEQ Final 4 at home.  Redmen complete their regular season at home vs.UQAM next weekend.  McGill hosts the conference tournament RSEQ Final Four at Love Competition Hall on March 11th and 12th for the first time.

 

Video: Western over Algoma on Senior’s Night


I’ve recently found some more time to surf around and have discovered that a small sample size of CIS programs have taken to providing fans with video summaries of their games.  By far the most professionally produced and consistently informative pieces is done by Western, providing a balanced view of the game with highlights from both teams.  Queen’s also does a very good job to that end.  There are also some that provide video summaries but only of highlights from the home team; suffice to say these unbalanced accounts rarely provide an accurate reflection of the actual game so this site will not share those accounts.  I am certain there are others out there – it has only been the past week or so that I’ve done searches centered on the home teams and I hope to share more of these going forward.

AUS Tournament Bracket set


AUS

The field is set for the AUS tournament and by virtue of last night’s Acadia win at UNB, UPEI Panthers (12-8) clinch a first-round tournament bye along with first-place Dalhousie Tigers.  V-Reds, with a chance to vault into second place with a win over the Axemen last night, ran into a first quarter juggernaut in 6’3″ Ben Miller who led the Axemen – who made 7 of their first 11 3’s – to a 23 point lead early.  Acadia was aided by extreme foul trouble to fifth-year 5’9″ guard Matt Daley and 6’1″ Javon Masters who each picked up 3 first-half fouls.  UNB bench got into the act also, taking a pair of technicals but more importantly Reds, coming off an impressive Friday night win over UPEI, could not make shots, making just 1 of their first 17 3’s.  Daley almost made his Senior’s night legendary, scoring 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half including a stretch of 11 consecutive when UNB cut the lead to just 5 early in the fourth.  Daley finished with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists in what has been a tremendous season/career for the diminutive, scrappy pg.  But Acadia held firm and put it away late on the foul line.  In the other game, 6’8″ Meshack Lufile‘s final game in Sydney was memorable as he finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds as the Capers won both games this weekend ensuring a spot in the tournament.

The brackets look like this:

Friday, March 4th, 2016:

6:30 PM AT/5:30 PM ET   #5 Saint Mary’s vs. #4 UNB

8:30 PM AT/7:30 PM ET   #6 Cape Breton vs. #3 Acadia

Saturday, March 5th, 2016:

6:30 PM AT/5:30 PM ET  winner SMU/UNB vs. #1 Dalhousie

8:30 PM AT/7:30 PM ET  winner CBU/Acadia vs. #2 UPEI

Sunday, March 6th, 2016:

4:30 PM AT/3:30 PM ET  AUS championship game

 

AUS Final Standings 

** -Dalhousie 13-7, 38 pts. 

** – UPEI 12-8, 34 pts.

y – Acadia 12-8, 32 pts.

y – UNB 11-9, 32 pts. 

y – Saint Mary’s 10-10, 28 pts. 1 games & 4 pts. left:  at CBU (4)

y – Cape Breton 10-10, 28 pts. 1 games & 4 pts left: SMU (4)

——————————————————————

x – Memorial 7-13, 18 pts.

x – St. FX 5-15, 14 pts.

x = eliminated from post season

y = clinched playoff spot

** = clinched first round playoff bye

 

OUA: Rams officially clinch #1 seed, T-Wolves/Lions back-in to playoffs


#1 Ryerson 81, #10 York 74  6’3″ Adika Peter-McNeilly came alive after halftime and the Rams stiffened defensively late, pushing up full court to play the game at a faster pace to clinch top seed in the OUA playoffs.  6’5″ Aaron Best had a big first-half and put a large exclamation point on the game with an ally-oop slam that energized his club and led to the decisive run.  With Brock’s win at Guelph, the Rams clinch the top seed in the OUA playoffs (see below).  Despite the loss, the Lions qualify for the playoffs by virtue of Toronto’s loss in Kingston and York (#10 seed) will travel to Kingston to face #7 Queen’s.  Rams played without 6’5″ Ammanuel Diressa out with a leg injury while 6’7″ Jean-Victor Mukama played sparingly.

#6 Queen’s 81, Toronto 73  Gaels clinched the #7 seed in the OUA playoffs, coming back from a double-digit deficit behind lefty three-point specialist Andrew Mavety who knocked down 5-6 3’s to finish with a game-high 23 points.  6’6″ Tanner Graham, on the path to becoming a future OUA all-star, showed off his versatile inside/out game with 15 points and 12 rebounds including a pair of threes as the Gaels clinched a home playoff game this coming Wednesday against #10 York and eliminated the Varsity Blues from playoff contention.

#7 Brock 65, Guelph 62  Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and held the home-town Gryphs to just 6 fourth-quarter points and eliminated Guelph from post-season play.  With the victory, Brock moves down in the OUA seedings to #6 and will host #10 Laurier on Wednesday in a first-round playoff game.

#5 Windsor 81, Lakehead 60  The Lancers behind sure-fire OUA all-star Alex Campbell dominated from virtually the beginning to put the Thunderwolves on the brink of elimination – however with Guelph’s loss Lakehead (#9 seed) qualifies for the post-season.  #5 Lancers host #12 Laurentian while T-Wolves travel to #8 Western in a rematch of last night’s dominant Mustangs victory.

#2 Ottawa defeated #12 Laurentian and #3 Carleton defeated Nipissing.

With tonight’s results, the following are first-round playoff match-ups for this coming Wednesday night:

#12 Laurentian at #5 Windsor

#11 Laurier at #6 Brock

#10 York at #7 Queen’s

#9 Lakehead at #10 Western

Top 4 seeds are as follows:

#1 Ryerson

#2 Ottawa

#3 Carleton

#4 McMaster

 

RSEQ: Gaiters officially eliminated in blow-out loss at McGill


McGill 76, Bishop’s 46  Locking down hard defensively and gaining from an improving perimeter shooting effort, the Redmen overcame an early first quarter 6 point deficit with contributions from numerous players to officially eliminate the defending RSEQ champions Gaiters with an easy home win this afternoon in Montreal.  McGill gave up only 29 points total in the final 3 quarters and finished the game on a 65-29 run.

Most impactful this afternoon was 6’2″ Dele Ogundokun who led the way with 21 points and as importantly knocked down 4 3’s from various spots.  Ogundokun did his usual fine job defending and rebounding but his offensive explosion including making multiple open looks bodes well for the first-place Redmen who prior to this afternoon were shooting 23% from downtown as a team after the holidays.  McGill was a tidy 7 for 17 from three point land (41.2%) today.

Redmen were also spurred by the return to the lineup of 6’1″ Jenning Leung, who missed last week’s game at Laval after injuring his hamstring two weeks ago against Concordia.  Leung (15 points, 4 assists, only 1 turnover, 6-10 from the field including 2 3’s) got more aggressive as the game went on, showing more confidence driving into the lane and even knocking down a pair of 3’s.  In general, this was McGill’s most fluid, confident and consistent offensive effort arguably since before the Holidays.

The young Gaiters have plenty of promising but inexperienced talent led by slashing 6’4″ wing Abdul Kamane, my choice for RSEQ Rookie-of-the-Year, who plays with fearless abandon attacking the rim.  But the guard play is still very erratic and perimeter shooting inconsistent (1 for 17 from 3 today).  Fourth-year guard Jona Bermillo, the hero of last season’s Gaiters run to the Nationals, was generally over matched as a pure point guard for many stretches this season but did an admirable job in that spot given the lack of quality on the roster at that position – not being able to slide over to the 2 spot consistently likely hampered the slick shooting guard’s ability to gain consistency from the perimeter.  Bermillo was honored last week as a graduating player at Bishop’s final home game of the season but still has one season of eligibility remaining so his status for next season remains uncertain.

Today’s Bishop’s loss renders this evening’s Laval at UQAM game meaningless as far as the playoff race however both teams are battling for third spot.  Presumably, neither wants to meet the host Redmen on their home floor in the RSEQ Final 4 semi-final scheduled for two weeks from yesterday at Love Competition Hall.  The fourth-place finisher would be slotted against McGill in one of two semi-finals.  Note that Concordia cannot finish any lower than third.  So Redmen will play either UQAM or Laval and Stingers will play either UQAM or Laval – that could be decided tonight if UQAM defeats Laval.

RSEQ Standings

McGill 11-4  (UQAM at home)

Concordia 9-6 (at UQAM)

UQAM 6-7 (home to Laval, home to Concordia, at McGill)

Laval 6-8 (at UQAM, home to Bishop’s)

Bishop’s 4-11 (at Laval)

OUA: RPI-induced “circus” leads to potential tanking scenarios


One of the more colorful lines in my basketball memories came about in the heat of a highly-contested battle between two Top 10 teams at the time (early 90’s at Montpetit Hall in Ottawa).  Mid-way through that tight game, visiting coach Tim Darling of Guelph approached the on-floor referees and coaching staff of Ottawa Gee-Gees after a series of – we will call them “questionable decisions” – by the hometown Ottawa scorer’s table (Note:  operational standards including the working condition of the ex-players tasked with keeping score and the shot clock were nowhere near today’s – and, no, the early 90’s guys I allude to were not the same very professional folks who run the uOttawa scorers table today).  Darling had seen enough and, sprinkling in some  of his unique theatrics, recommended that “we put up a tent around the entire table”.  Somewhat perplexed, the collective question back to the bombastic yet always-witty Darling was “why?”; his answer I think can also be easily applied to the present-day situation in the OUA and the use of RPI for seedings:  “Because it’s a circus !”.

With just one night of OUA regular season basketball remaining, the playoff seedings – and the numerous associated permutations and potential combinations – remain elusive to even the most hardened statistical academics and the possibility exists for some teams – and their coaching staffs – that actually losing a game will benefit their playoff positioning.  Probably not a scenario examined on the white board when this very questionable application of an NCAA ranking tool to OUA playoff seedings was being discussed and ultimately selected.

To make some sense of what “could” happen and the impact on the participating teams, let’s break down tonight’s schedule and first identify which games actually have any meaning at all:  there are 8 games scheduled with 3 not having any impact:  Algoma (since eliminated) at Western; Carleton at Nipissing (since eliminated) and Waterloo (since eliminated) at Laurier.  The three playoff teams could lose these games and given the special application of RPI to OUA, none of the results will matter.

That leaves 5 games that matter to the playoff situation and seedings, as follows:

Brock at Guelph

Lakehead at Windsor

Toronto at Queen’s

Ryerson at York

Ottawa at Laurentian.

With all due respect to the Voyageurs, for the purposes of this analysis – Ottawa must win in Sudbury to maintain any hope of the #1 seed and Laurentian is winless against the current set of playoff teams – we will make a bold assumption that Ottawa will win this evening, leaving 4 games that have impacts.

Using basic stats, those 4 games can have 16 different outcomes (at this point you will have to trust the math profs at Mac circa early 80’s to be comfortable that I know what I am talking about).  And to further assume and simplify, 8 of those games have scenarios in which Ryerson beats York – a strong possibility given that a Rams loss *could* push them into #2 or even #3 seed.  But we review those scenarios because, unlike Laurentian, York needs a win to clinch a playoff spot.

Still, taking into account only the 8 remaining possibilities – assuming wins by Ryerson and Ottawa – i.e. Brock/Guelph, Toronto/Queen’s and Lakehead/Windsor win/loss possibilities in which it is reasonable to assume either team could win, the following will hold according to the “what if” tool on Martin’s wonderful site:

If Guelph defeats Brock, in three of those 4 scenarios, Brock still finishes 5th – however in one of those scenarios, wins by Queens, Windsor and Guelph put Brock at #6.  If  Brock defeats Guelph, in two of the scenarios, the Badgers would slip to #6 in one case and to #7 in another case.  #5 seed potentially gets Brock a quarter-final game at McMaster, a half-hour bus ride from St. Catharines.  #6 and the Badgers must travel to Ottawa to face Carleton.  GIVEN STRICTLY THESE 8 SCENARIOS, probability theory suggests that BROCK IS BETTER OFF LOSING TONIGHT THAN WINNING.

Windsor has some incentive to win however under those 8 scenarios – in only two (both Windsor and Brock win) do the Lancers get to fifth spot.  THIS PROVIDES ANOTHER REASON FOR BROCK TO CONSIDER TANKING TONIGHT.  IF BOTH BROCK AND WINDSOR WIN, WINDSOR GETS FIFTH AHEAD OF BROCK – Brock would drop to either #6 or #7.  If Windsor wins this evening, the only scenario under which Brock finishes 5th is a Toronto win over Queen’s, Guelph beating Brock and Windsor beating Lakehead.

Other possibilities (all assuming Ryerson and Ottawa win):

  • Ryerson, even with a win at York, could be pushed down to #2 seed if Guelph defeats Brock and Windsor defeats Lakehead – regardless of what happens between Queen’s and Toronto
  • Queen’s will be the #5 seed if the following occurs:  Gaels defeat Toronto, Guelph defeats Brock and Windsor defeats Lakehead; in that case Brock drops to #6 and Windsor #7.  In 5 of the 8 scenarios, Queen’s hosts a first-round playoff game
  • the optimistic Lakehead scenario with a win in Windsor combined with Toronto winning, the Thunderwolves finish #6 regardless of what happens at Guelph.  The only scenario that Lakehead doesn’t get a home game – if they even qualify – is if Brock beats Guelph, Queen’s beats Toronto and Lakehead loses
  • Windsor is guaranteed a home game and gets #5 seed with a win and a Brock win over Guelph
  • If Guelph gets in, the Gryphons host a first-round playoff game:  their only way in is to defeat Brock and hope Windsor beats Lakehead
  • Western has a 50/50 chance of hosting a first-round playoff game:  three scenarios with Brock winning and the fourth with Guelph, Lakehead and Toronto winning.
  • Toronto/York, Laurier and Laurentian have NO chance of hosting a first-round playoff game (so the RPI works !)

That’s enough for today.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending what side of the discussion you are on), it appears that only one remaining team has a dilemma.  And the prevailing view is that you do what’s best for your program:  the rules are what the rules are and the steward accountable for maximizing success for his program needs to look at what is most important to the ultimate success of his program.  This situation is a result of a system that allows for these scenarios.  Food for thought for anyone with a vesting interest in the continued improvement of our sport.

By the way, for what it’s worth, my favorite act at the circus was always the Juggler.

Enjoy the games !