McGill seeded sixth for CIS Final Eight men's basketball championship in Ottawa
The McGill University Redmen are seeded sixth for the CIS men's basketball championship and will meet No.3-seeded Ottawa in their opener on Friday at 2:15 p.m. at Scotiabank Place in the nation's capital. McGill, which has a 21-7 record against CIS opponents, defeated the Gee-Gees 85-64 in their only meeting this season, a non-conference match-up last fall during the final of the Redbird Classic in Montreal on Oct. 21. Ottawa owns a 23-8 record against CIS teams, including three losses to Carleton, two against Bishop's and one apiece versus Concordia and Windsor.
It will be McGill's fourth trip in school history to the Nationals -- their first appearance since 1979 -- where they have a 1-6 lifetime record. The Redmen, who are looking for their first-ever CIS banner, are bidding to become only the third Quebec team to win a national hoops title, following Concordia (1989-90) and Bishop’s (1997-98).
The seeding was announced Sunday for the CIS Final Eight, hosted by Carleton. The single-elimination tournament gets underway Friday and culminates next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. with the gold-medal final, live on The Score Television Network. The Score also has live coverage of Saturday's semifinals starting at 5:30 p.m. All 11 games from the competition (televised or non-televised) will also be webcast live at www.CIS-SIC.tv, while Rogers TV Ottawa will broadcast Friday's fourth quarter-final locally.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb/index
“We're going to be in tough against some good teams but our kids have been very resilient all season long and this will just be another test for them,” says David DeAveiro, who in three seasons as head coach at McGill, has guided his troops to a 50-35 record against CIS opponents.
“It's a very tough match-up in our first round against Ottawa. They are playing some very good basketball of late, challenging Carleton in their last three meetings, so we're probably playing the hottest team in the country in the first round. And with the tournament being in their own backyard, they will definitely have a home-court advantage.”
DeAveiro, a 48-year-old native of Toronto, may have a hidden advantage up his sleeve as he should feel quite comfortable in Ottawa, where he previously spent 19 years with the Gee-Gees, including five seasons as a player (1984 to 1989), five as an assistant coach (1990 to 1995) and nine as head coach (2001 to 2010).
“The field is very strong as the teams in the tourney are basically the same as the ones that have been ranked in the Top 10 all season,” added DeAveiro, a three-time OUA coach-of-the-year honoree.
Last Saturday, the Redmen captured their first RSEQ conference title since 1986, with a 77-74 come-from-behind victory over visiting Bishop's before a record home crowd of 1,023. They overcame a 15-point deficit in the third quarter. The team is scheduled to practice at home on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 2-4 p.m., before making the two-hour bus trip to Ottawa.
For the second consecutive season, and the fifth time in six years, the Carleton Ravens have been established as tournament favourites. Joining OUA champion Carleton in the nation's capital will be the No. 2 Cape Breton Capers (AUS champions), No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA finalists), No. 4 UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA champions), No. 5 Acadia Axemen (AUS finalists), No. 6 McGill Redmen (RSEQ champions), No. 7 Lakehead Thunderwolves (OUA bronze medallists) and No. 8 Victoria Vikes (CWUAA finalists)
Acadia received the at-large berth (wildcard) following a vote by a committee of CIS coaches. The Axemen were ranked no lower than sixth nationally all season and climbed all the way up to No. 2 for three weeks during the fall semester.
The reigning two-time national champion Ravens were a logical choice for the No. 1 seed following another remarkable season that saw them finish atop the OUA East standings with a 19-1 record, add three wins in three outings in the playoffs en route to the Wilson Cup title. They compiled an overall mark of 25-1 against CIS opponents.
Carleton opens its defence of the W.P. McGee Trophy Friday at 8 p.m. against Victoria. The other quarter-final match-ups include Cape Breton vs. Lakehead in the tournament opener at noon, Ottawa vs. McGill at 2:15 p.m., as well as UBC vs. Acadia at 6 p.m.
Carleton and first-round opponent Victoria enter the 2013 tourney tied for most CIS men's basketball banners overall, with eight apiece. UBC (2) and Acadia (2) have also claimed the McGee Trophy in the past.
NOTES: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday... The CIS all-Canadians and major award winners will be announced on Wednesday morning (Note: no awards reception)... All-Canadians and major award winners will be honoured at centre court at Scotiabank Place on Saturday evening between the semifinals.