Hoops: Brandon bounces back; Carleton has statement game; heartbreaker for Varsity Blues

It seems to make the most sense to focus on the conferences that are into playoffs. Some teams' seasons are going to end this weekend. Canada West is an obvious starting point.


  • Ottawa 63 Toronto 60: Ottawa guard Josh Gibson-Bascombe kept it together for 39 minutes to shepherd the garnet-and-grey to a return visit to the OUA East final — they're assured of playing a game to go to nationals. (If Carleton wins on Saturday, the division runners-up play for a berth at the Final 8.)

    Gibson-Bascombe put up 19 points, eight rebounds, six steals (for the second straight game) and five assists in what must have been a tense game. The Gee-Gees played a terrific road game, with just nine turnovers and 15-of-19 free-throw shooting. There's a deep reservoir of empathy for coach Mike Katz and the Varsity Blues, who have been the best team in the country to not go to the Final 8 for two years running. It would have been a great story to see U of T in the Final 8.
  • Carleton 96 Queen's 44: The final score looked like the blood pressure of a very unhealthy person; to think there were a few of us out there who were giving the Golden Gaels an outside chance (hey, they even led Carleton for a half during the regular season). The Ravens just couldn't be touched. It's their time of year.

    That said, under coach Rob Smart there are people in Kingston talking about Queen's hoops, maybe for the first time ever.


  • Guelph 69 Laurier 59: The Big Man on Campus, Greg Layson, has this one covered off, pointing out forward Duncan Milne's gritty effort was a big part of the Gryphons advancing to an OUA West semi at Brock on Wednesday.
  • Western 82 McMaster 81: The endgame, as described by the London Free Press, could have been predicted by a lot of the diehards who have been harping on the officiating in the OUA West all season along. The foul call that put Western's Alex Brzozowicz on the line to make the winning free throw with 3.9 seconds left might be described as the right call being made by the wrong ref (the foul was whistled by the back official, not the one who was closest to the play).

    Western, which got 16 points from Andrew Wedemire off the bench, will need to be miles better against Windsor on Wednesday.
CANADA WEST (division finals)
  • Brandon beats Regina 2-1: So really, Brandon played one terrible quarter (that 30-7 second in Game 1) in three games. It's really kind of a moot point but some Top 10 voters might flip-flop them with Calgary ahead of Canada West Final Four. The two teams are still 1 and 1-A; who wins Canada West probably rests on who has the tighter backcourt act.

    Paul Gareau, who put up 31 points in 22 minutes for Regina on Friday, is clearly a player -- early in the season he hooped 14 in just 18 minutes vs. Alberta, but who could have expected him to put together this kind of night, at this kind of year? That's like an aurora borealis located entirely within someone's kitchen.
  • Calgary sweeps Alberta 2-0: The Dinos dominated the last six quarters, winning the clincher 90-66 on Saturday. There's not much more to say. Alberta will have the wild-card if Brandon finishes off Regina tonight.
  • UBC sweeps: Forward Bryson Kool's double-double (18 and 11) steered the T-Birds to another maybe-not-so-emphatic win, 86-77 over the Vikes, in Game 2 of the CW Pacific Division final.

    One mark of a winner is getting to the line... UBC made more free throws (42-of-57) than UVic attempted (20-of-36) in the two games. Veteran guard Matt Rachar led UBC with 13 points, including 7-of-8 at the line, in Game 1.


  • Saint Mary's beat Concordia this afternoon, gift-wrapping a first-round bye in the AUS Final 6 for St. FX.


  • Concordia and McGill meet tonight. Winner hosts the semi vs. third-place UQAM, loser falls heir to a semi-final at Laval. The Citadins beat Laval 93-83 on Saturday.
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  1. Carleton and Queens will be shown on the Rogers Community Channel on Saturday, It also appears that Ottawa and Toronto will be shown Sunday on Rogers, in both Ottawa and Toronto, on a delayed basis at PM.
    Ottawa is getting back to strength. You mentioned that Josh Gibson-Bascombe is back. Power forward David Labentowicz could also be back for the Toronto game. If Ottawa gets past the Blues, Jacob Gibson-Bascombe might be able to suit up for the next game.