Final games bring so many permutations and combinations ….
Thompson Rivers (8-10) at Regina (7-11)- This series has implications not only for the 2 teams, but throughout the CW standings. We have to see Regina as the favourites, being at home, or do we? The baffling Green Cougars are 3-5 on home court, and 4-6 on the road? The Wolves are 4-4 on the road this year, and have won 6 of the last 8 meetings with Regina. TRU are the younger team, but have Volodymyr Iegorov, a tough match-up inside. It’s a toss-up, with both teams scratching for a play-off berth. Fri /Sat at 8 pm
Winnipeg (12-6) at Victoria (7-11) – Another series where the results will affect all teams in the RPI ratings. The Vikes would kill for a sweep, and a guarantee of getting into the post -season. UVic is not keen on missing 2 years in a row. The Ws have won 6 of 8 in the season’s 2nd half, and want to assure a home court for round 1 of play-offs. These teams are 7-7 over their last 6 seasons’ meetings; we think a split may be the most likely scenario. Fri 8 pm / Sat 7 pm
Mt Royal (8-10) at Manitoba (10-8) – Both these teams are coming off losses, and we’re not sure how they will respond to these games. The Bisons are going to be 5th, so there’s no pressure there, but they will want to sharpen -up prior to play-offs. The Cougs may find themselves in a math tie-breaker for a play-off spot if they can’t get that 9th win. Fri 8 pm , Sat 6 pm
MacEwan (7-11) at #6 Calgary (14-4) – “They’re pretty good!” So says Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren as he reviews MacEwan game tape. “Their post guys are tough, and work hard. (Thadius) Galvez and (Denzel) James can play.” Yes, the Griffs are under-appreciated by some, but will not go down without a fight. Calgary are without Lars Schleuter, who is nursing a ‘lower-body injury’. Closer than we might expect. Intriguing match-up – Adonis Montfort – Palomino (former Dino) returns to his home-town vs the Dinos super-quick point , David Kapinga. Fri 8 pm/ Sat 7 pm
#9 Saskatchewan (12-6) at UNBC (4-14) – This does not look like a good match-up for the smaller T’Wolves, as the Huskies bring the ‘big meanies’, Shane Osayande and Matt Forbes. U of S has a shot at the #1 seed (slim as it might be), so they will have that incentive. Vaggelis Loukas needs help inside, while Rhys Elliott and Marcus MacKay shoot lights out. Still a tall order for UNBC. Fri 8 pm / Sat / 7 pm
#2 UBC (17-1) at Trinity Western (3-15) – The Thunderbirds are, make no mistake, peeved that they will not be the #1 play-off seed. So they can be expected to be in a surly mood as they travel to Langley to finish their League slate. TWU won their last, and are playing better, but this should not be close. Fri and Sat at 7 pm
Fraser Valley (9-9) at UBC-O (2-16) – The big question might be, “How do we get to Kelowna, with all the deep snow on the Coquihalla Highway?” Assuming the Cascades can ‘plow their way through’, they will be excited for a chance to get to 11 wins, and to host a play-off series the following week. Their senior guards, Manny Dulay and Vijay Dhillon will give the Heat’s 3rd year points leader , Aldrich Berrios, and rookies Triston Matthews and Matt Lafontaine all they can handle. Fri 8 pm / Sat at 7 pm
Saturday/ Sunday , Feb. 11/12
Lethbridge (12-6) at #7 Alberta (13-5) – The Bears are the ‘odds-on’ to finish as the top seed for play-offs wither tough schedule giving them a boost in the RPI. This holds true, if they sweep, for sure, or maybe even if they allow Lethbridge a split? ( There are other possibilities, but let’s just wait.) The Bears look to have an edge at home, and they’re playing better with Andre Kelly back in the line-up. The ‘Horns will need a 3rd,4th, 5th guy to assist Dejon Burdeaux and Elliott Sentance, if they are to get a win. Weird game times, with a volleyball conflict. Sat at 4 pm / Sun at 7 pm
Brandon Bobcats are 9-11, in the play-offs, and lounging contentedly in their ‘dorm rooms’ this weekend
In the East –
Tues – #10 Dalhousie 77 at St FX 65
Upcoming – In the OUA – Waterloo at Western Ont, Laurier at Windsor
Quebec – UQAM at #8 McGill
There are no changes this week, as Ottawa lost to Carleton (doesn’t everybody?), and the Bears and Huskies split.
On the basis of the Top 10, it looks like the OUA has the lead in the ‘At Large Berth’ competition. The U-Sports Final 8 in Halifax March 9-12 will have 2 Atlantic teams, 2 OUA teams, 2 Canada West teams, and 1 Quebec team . An ‘At-large team’ (Wild-card) will be chosen by a committee of U-Sports coaches. There are many more criteria besides this Top 10 (More later).
- We think Saskatchewan will be cheering for a split between Alberta-Lethbridge, then Regina -Thompson Rivers, and, finally, a Winnipeg sweep at Victoria. Then, according to ‘Dr. Timmerman’s Magic Calculator’, the Sled Dogs are CW #1 play-off seed ! (But, those are a whole lot of dominoes magically falling in the appropriate direction!) Probably Alberta #1.
- What looks more predictable is some kind of tie for the last play-off spot … involving some of, two of, several of UVic, Mt Royal, Regina, TRU, or MacEwan. Stay tuned.