CCAA basketball tournament returns to Ontario with new format

The CCAA Tournament is returning to Ontario’s Citizen’s Business Bank Arena. Save the dates. It will be March 6-8.

It was a no-brainer. Student-athletes should get the chance to play in an arena rather than an on-campus venue in which they play all season. It is centrally located, with plenty of hotels, dining, entertainment and shopping options nearby.

It was held there last March for the first time and drew favorable reviews from coaches, athletes and conference officials.

Give the CCAA brain-trust credit for tweaking the format. In the past eight of 12 teams got in for both men and women so it was very possible for sub .500 teams to get in. And if you’re No. 8, lets face it, your chance of winning the tournament probably wasn’t that good anyway.

The better teams didn’t like it. If they had a position in the regional secured many coaches said they would prefer not to play because it was a physical burden on a team before the more important regional.

Now six will get in on each side with the 1-2 seeds getting a first round bye. So to win the tournament they would need to win just two games rather than three. If they have played well enough to be a 1 or a 2 they deserve some sort of reward.

So the 3 through 6 seeds would play with the two survivors advancing to meet the 1-2 who had the bye in the semifinals.

It’s a great call. Now the stronger teams will have less opposition to the tournament.

What do you think?