Ottawa is hosting Canada’s version of the Elite 8 in a championship tournament format for Men’s CIS Basketball. Concordia, Calgary, Dalhousie, UBC, Ottawa, Western, StFX, Carleton all made the cut this year and took the trip to Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place. The Carlton Raven’s are again the #1 ranked team heading in and look to continue the dynasty that coach Dave Smart has in place.
I was lucky enough to gain entry to the second double header of the quarter finals Friday night. A buddy scored up some sweet seats and offered up a ducket. Actually to be fair the seats were not the best but the location was PRIMO. The seats were folding chairs which was ok but they were placed on the floor and only 4 rows back...oh yeah pretty much centre court. Lets just say that it gives you different perspective on the game when you are at that level for sure. It would have been a bit better had the rows been raised a bit and staggered but when you are at that level and you get the tickets free you really are in no position to criticise. Also you’d think that by now I would learn to bring a good camera to events like this, but alas another rookie mistake on my part and had nothing but my crappy 1.3mp phone and that is why the pictures, well, suck.
Not unlike the game that was played with Kansas when they came to plat the Ravens and Gee Gees, this event was also sponsored by milk. Like I said before in one of my posts, nothing says basketball like a nice carton of milk! Mmmmm thirst quenching after a good game of ball
This is no place to sugar coat things, this is not NCAA ball, far from it (actually from what I saw Carleton may be an exception to that). In the first game you could tell that Ottawa and Western may not be on the same level as some others in the tournament. It appeared that they don’t practice foul shooting...ever, as I have never seen more missed free throws since Shaq in 2001. That game was played at a fairly slow pace and was more of a half court game, When they did run it seemed to wind up as a miss or a turnover. Ottawa was fairly outmatched from the outset and were only in the game at the beginning.
The second game was just a blowout from the get go when Carleton plated St. FX. It was actually one of the stranger games I have watched. In warm up both teams were making shots, running dripps and both looked crisp. During the game St. FX played hard, shot decently and created some difficulties with some good pressure and a strong full court press. I know sounds like that would make for a nail biter doesn’t it? Not so much, Carleton crushed them 94-57. It was weird it was the closest and most even blowout I have ever seen. If you didn’t look at the scoreboard you’d think it was a close even game.
That is a big difference being there and not watching it on tv with commentators. Without knowing some of the back stories or basically anything about the teams you are going in blind and may miss on some of the small things of the game.