Huskies host Bears, with top Canada West seed at stake
#7 Alberta (12-4) at #9 Saskatchewan (11-5) – This is our ‘Feature Series’ this week , as 2 of Canada West’s 4 Top 10 teams clash in Saskatoon. This can swing the top 4 seeds for playoff purposes, with Alberta and Saskatchewan both having a shot at hosting the Final 4, if things break the right way. A sweep for either team is huge.
The Huskies have home court, and have won 6 of 8 in this 2nd half of the schedule, while the Bears have dropped 4 of their 6. The Dogs’ big men, Shane Osayande (18.2 ppg/ 10.6 rebs) and Matt Forbes ( 15.3 ppg/ 8.6 rebs) will be a major hurdle for the GBs’ Brody Clarke (15.3 ppg, 7.7 rebs) and Mamadou Gueye (16.1 ppg/ 6.4 rebs). Coach Craddock will ‘change it up’ with 7-2, Brett Roughead, a 10-12 minute man who can mix it up in the paint.
Austin Waddoups, the Bears’ outside shooting ace (48% / 14 ppg) and floor general, will get lots of attention from Sask’s guard corps of Lawrence Moore, Chan De Ciman (if he’s healthy), and Alex Unruh. Alberta has shot the ball better from the floor this season, and they will need Clarke and Gueye to be productive. Both defenses have shown they can win games by keeping teams in the high 60s or low 70s; the question is, can they take away the other’s best players? We see this as a split, and a sweep would be big news, and likely launch the winner into the top of the RPI list. These big games go at 8 pm Central both nights.
Other games, which we will preview Thursday …
Lethbridge has this week as a bye
The Top 10 remains the same in the top 3, with Carleton, Ottawa, and UBC looking sharp this past weekend. The Brock Badgers climb from 6th to 4th with a win over previously unbeaten Ryerson, and Calgary, who blow a 20 pt. lead Saturday to un-ranked Regina, fall to 6th.
Both the OUA and Canada West have 4 spots in the table, while McGill is the lone Quebec representative, and the AUS has #10 Dalhousie. Those 2 Leagues don’t seem to have the dominant powers, and their championships may be more uncertain. We note the support for Saint Mary’s Huskies who are winning some tough games in the Atlantic, and a nudge for Manitoba, with their 8 straight in Canada West.