Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Projecting The University Cup Pools

The official announcement comes down later today but since the CIS has released their final top-10 of the season we can make an educated guess at how the pools and schedule will shape up for the University Cup, which gets underway next Thursday afternoon at the AUC. Here is how we think things will look.

The six teams participating in the tournament finish the season ranked the following: UNB (#1), McGill (#2), Saskatchewan (#3), Western (#4), Moncton (#5), and UQTR (#7).

According to section 4.2.2 of the CIS playing regulations titled SEEDING CRITERIA:
The pools shall be seeded as follows:
1. The three (3) Sport Conference champions will be seeded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd based on their respective team national ranking in the final Top Ten of the season.
2. Pool A will have the #1 seed. Pool B will consist of #2 and #3.
3. The remaining three qualifying teams will be assigned as per 4.2.2 Pool Structure.
Since UNB won their conference and finished the season ranked number one in the CIS Top Ten they will go into the tournament as the #1 seed and will be placed in Pool A. The other two conference winners - McGill of the OUA and Saskatchewan of Canada West - will be seeded #2 and #3, respectively, since McGill finished ahead of Saskatchewan in the final top ten. They will both be placed in Pool B.

The other three teams will be placed according to section 4.2.2 POOL STRUCTURE. There are two different options.
Option A - If there are two teams from each conference in the Championship then geography is used to ensure that no conference is duplicated in a pool

Option B - If there are three teams from one conference then the 3rd place team is in Pool A and geography determines the final two placings.
Since the OUA has three assigned berths at this years University Cup we will use Option B. This means that UQTR, the 3rd place team from the OUA, will be placed in Pool A with UNB. This leaves Moncton and Western, which are to be placed according to geography. It is likely that the seeding committee will elect to split up the two AUS entries - Moncton and UNB - and the two OUA finalists - McGill and Western. This would put Western into Pool A with UNB and UQTR and Moncton into Pool B with McGill and Saskatchewan.

As for the schedule, according to section 4.5 SCHEDULES OR ORDER OF EVENTS:
Each team will be considered the home team for one game and the away team for one game during the two round-robin games. The top seeded team in each pool plays on day one against the lowest seeded team in their respective pool. The higher seeded team on day one shall be the away team for that game. The two winners of round robin games on day one automatically advance to day three. The two losers of round robin games on day one play again on day two against the two teams with a bye on day one. The host team can be scheduled on the evening of Day 1 or Day 2, regardless of their seeding, at the discretion of the Host Committee. All games in a particular pool will be played in the same time slot (i.e. afternoon or evening).
We already know that UNB, as the host team, has elected to open the tournament in the evening of Day 1 (Thursday). As the top seed in their pool they will be the road team in their first game, which will be against the lowest seeded team in their pool, UQTR. The Thursday afternoon game should pit McGill (the highest seed in Pool B) playing as the road team against Moncton (the lowest seed in Pool B). On Friday afternoon the loser of the McGill/Moncton game will play Saskatchewan and on Friday night the loser of the UNB/UQTR game will play Western. On Saturday afternoon the winner of the McGill/Moncton game will play Saskatchewan and on Saturday evening the winner of the UNB/UQTR game will play Western. The top team in each pool will then advance to Sunday night's championship game.