The CIS Men’s basketball Finals — the Canadian March Madness — is nothing like the yearly NCAA tournament. As Carleton head coach Dave Smart has said:
— NPH (@NorthPoleHoops) March 11, 2013
Still, it is the pinnacle of Canadian post-secondary basketball, and as such it’s certainly worth a look. The tournament took place over last weekend, and before it started I provided some predictions. Now that the games have been played, it’s time to take a look and see how I did. Before we do, a quick reminder of the teams in the tournament:
On to the predictions!
- Cape Breton  vs Lakehead  — miss
I picked Cape Breton over Lakehead due to the edge Cape Breton had in terms of point differential (13.2 to 9.0). However, as I mentioned in that post, sometimes the better team loses. One of Cape Breton’s star players — Jimmy Dorsey — had a terrible game. Similarly, one of Lakehead’s less productive players — Ben Johnson (no, not that guy) — had an excellent game. These things do happen occasionally, and since they happened at the same time, it meant the better team lost.
- Ottawa  vs McGill  — hit
By virtue of their larger point differential, I said Ottawa (10.8) should win comfortably over McGill (5.9), and 12 points is a pretty comfortable margin.
- UBC  vs Acadia  — pass
This game was too close to call. UBC’s point differential was only 0.1 larger than Acadia (11.0 vs 10.9), so there was no real favourite there. However, at the end of the game there was a key injury: Doug Plumb, UBC’s best guard (if not its best player overall), left the game very late in the fourth quarter after a nasty fall. While that may not have changed this particular result, it definitely affected UBC in its next games.
- Carleton  vs Victoria  — hit
I said that Carleton should win comfortably over Victoria, and that may have been an understatement.
Quarter-Final prediction record: 2-1-1
Semi-Finals and Consolations
- Lakehead  vs Ottawa  — miss
Here I actually picked Cape Breton to beat Ottawa, but Cape Breton lost to Lakehead. Had I known that Lakehead would advance, I would have picked Ottawa. Either way, I was wrong, as Lakehead ended up surprising everyone and winning again. Yet the difference in the point differentials wasn’t large enough to make this result that surprising. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes the better team loses.
- Carleton  vs Acadia  — hit
Carleton crushes its opponents, and I predicted that they’d win comfortably, even though Acadia is a good team. I wasn’t wrong.
- Cape Breton  vs McGill  OT — miss
Here I had predicted that Lakehead would defeat McGill, but Lakehead beat Cape Breton and advanced to the semi-final. Had I known that Cape Breton would face McGill, I would’ve picked Cape Breton. Either way, I would’ve been wrong. Sure, the game went to OT, but Cape Breton underperformed for the second consecutive game, and again, it was largely due to a poor game by Jimmy Dorsey.
Yes, you read that correctly; Jimmy Dorsey — who had 39 points — had a poor game. This is because he took 38 field goal attempts and 5 free-throw attempts to get his 39 points. He took 22 three-point shots and only made 5 of them. None of his teammates took more than 8 field goal attempts. And while he had 9 rebounds — excellent numbers for a guard — it couldn’t make up for his poor shooting, his turnovers, and his fouls.
- Victoria  vs UBC  — miss
Remember how I said Doug Plumb’s injury would become important later on? I predicted that UBC (or Acadia) would beat Victoria, but UBC lost one of its top two players due to injury. Given that injury, the two teams were much more even opponents than the seasonal marks would indicate. How much closer I can’t say, but certainly enough to make this result understandable.
Semi-Finals and Consolations record: 1-3
Finals, 3rd place, and 5th place
- Lakehead  vs Carleton  — hit
Carleton set a record for the largest margin of victory in a Championship game, more than doubling the old record of 24 (set by Windsor in 1964 and tied by Acadia in 1971). Given the dominance Carleton displayed throughout the season, I was not surprised. With that win, Carleton has now won the CIS Championship in 9 of the last 11 years.
- Ottawa  vs Acadia  OT — pass/hit
I said this game was too close to call, and I was right, as the game went into overtime. I should really give myself a hit here.
- McGill  vs Victoria  — miss
I had predicted this game to be between Lakehead and UBC or Acadia, but McGill beat Cape Breton and Victoria beat Plumb-less UBC. Had I known that the game would be between McGill and Victoria, I would’ve said that the game would be too close to call. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t have been accurate either; 12 points isn’t exactly close. So that’s a miss.
Finals, 3rd place, and 5th place record: 1-1-1
Overall record: 4-5-2 / 5-5-1
While my record is right around 50%, I’m pretty happy with how well my predictions went. I nailed the winner (granted, that was easy) and most of the top teams. Given the injury to a key player, UBC somewhat understandably played worse than I expected. The only team that burnt me was Cape Breton. My results were also quite comparable to the only other statistically-based prediction I found online. Here are the results in table form:
Not too bad for a single elimination tournament — especially considering that I made my second and third round predictions before I even knew the previous rounds’ results.