Champions League Draw Analysis

The remaining 8 teams found out who they were playing and who would have home court advantage in the 2nd leg for the ¼ finals in February/March.

CBM Valladolid vs. VfL Gummersbach
MKB Veszprém KC vs. THW Kiel
BM Ciudad Real vs. Portland San Antonio
SG Flensburg-Handewitt vs. FC Barcelona-Cifec

The second team listed gets the 2nd leg at home.

[b]- German clubs in Good Position[/b]: If you wanted a draw that would give you the best chance for all 3 German teams to advance you probably couldn’t have set it up much better. The German sides didn’t draw each other and also avoided the 2 best Spanish clubs.
[b]- Seeding (as in the lack of): [/b] The Champion’s League should give some very serious consideration to seeding the teams at each point during the competition. Portland San Antonio and Ciudad Real played each other last year in the final, are 1, 2 in the Spanish League and are arguably the 2 best teams in the competition. Does it really make sense for them to play each other now instead of in the finals? Other tournaments find a way do this, but I realize the challenges that are involved with national interests and bias.
[b]- Nation vs Nation: [/b]The Champion’s League doesn’t allow teams from the same nation to be put in the same group at the start of the competition. Why not also continue this through the other rounds? The opportunity to play outside of your National League and to represent your National League is one of the best aspects of this tournament. This would also have avoided the Portland San Antonio – Ciudad Real matchup.
[b]- 11 Week Wait: [/b]Two back to back weekends of great action and now an 11 week wait to 23 February 2007? I just don’t understand how they do things here in Europe. I realize that there’s the World Championships and National League competition, but there’s got to be a better format/schedule to be put in place.
– The good news is that there will be a major fix put in place next year with a second round of group play to replace the round of 16 and ¼ finals. It will be interesting to see whether they consider seeding and (Nation vs Nation) considerations