Two teams from one city hooking up for the W.P. McGee Trophy has never happened before in Canadian university men's basketball annals, meaning sleep is overrated.
With daylight savings time beginning Saturday night and the CIS Final 8 championship game tipping off at 2 p.m. ET at Sportsnet 360's request, that meant the Ottawa Gee-Gees will only have about 12½ hours of R&R between their 78-70 semifinal win over the Victoria Vikes and a date with destiny vs. the rival Carleton Ravens, who downed Alberta 79-55. Whether the short window is conducive to optimum performance on the parquet at Canadian Tire Centre remains to be seen, but the matchup is without precedent. So no need to make excuses about an early start, even though No. 2 seed Carleton will get a couple extra hours' rest and the pace-pushing top-seeded Gee-Gees had the tighter turnaround.
"This is what I've been waiting all season for, it's nationals and Ottawa versus Carleton," said Ottawa's sophomore combo forward Caleb Agada, whose 12 points and 10 rebounds helped the Gee-Gees hang in against a Victoria front line that includes 6-foot-10 Chris McLaughlin, who was valiant with 19 points before fouling out late.
"This is what we've been waiting for. My energy is the highest it could possibly be."
It's been 36 years — longer than some of the coaches in Sunday's tilt have been alive — since two teams from such close proximity met in the national final. Back in 1978 in Halifax, the hometown Saint Mary's Huskies beat Atlantic conference rival Acadia, from nearly Wolfville, N.S., 99-91. That contest, still remembered vividly down east by fans of a certain vintage, drew more than 11,000 fans.Read More »from Carleton-Ottawa cross-town CIS final an unprecedented matchup, but will crowd size and casual-fan support reflect it?