Highlights of this week's schedule: X-Men @ Capers (Wed), Mustangs @ Thunderwolves (Fri/Sat), Gee-Gees @ Ravens (Sat).
- UBC Thunderbirds (477 points) (17-1 CW, 1st RPI) — One of many top 10 teams to have a bye week before the Canada West playoffs tip off. The relevant series here is Alberta @ UBC, starting a week from Thursday in Vancouver.
- St. Francis Xavier X-Men (437 points) (15-0 AUS, 5th RPI) — Somewhat improbably, they still have regular-season games up to March 5. This week, they have three games, including a weekend pair at home against Memorial, but the big-ticket showdown comes Wednesday night in Sydney as they play Cape Breton for, wait for it, the first time all year. And that matchup didn't disappoint: a thrilling game played in front of a large, raucous crowd, coming down to the last shot. Or so the nine minutes of highlights tell us. CBU won 85-82, with St. F-X grabbing just four offensive rebounds all night. Jeremy Dunn scored 20 in a losing cause, hitting more than half his threes just like X did all night.
They then won their first at MUN 82-48, with everyone getting on the court: 12 different players played nine minutes or more. It wasn't really that close. The second game, third this week for X, is Sunday afternoon.
- Carleton Ravens (403 points) (19-2 OUA, 2nd RPI) — Finish the regular-season Saturday night against Ottawa, and a win or a loss by less than eight preserves the Ravens' spot atop the OUA East. A three-ball at the buzzer pushed this one to OT, where Kevin McCleery (15 points) sank one of two foul shots at the end of the period to go up 87-86, which is where it would stay when Ottawa couldn't get a shot off. That's 10 wins in a row for Carleton over Ottawa. Elliot Thompson led Carleton with 20.
- Cape Breton Capers (363 points) (16-1 AUS, 10th RPI) — Just the game against X this week (and the rematch next week in Antigonish). CBU was up by 12 at the half, but had to scramble at the end for the win. Paris Carter had 21 and Jimmy Dorsey had 19. There was a very, very nice full-court drive by one player, but it wasn't clear from the video who it was. He might have had a 3 in his number. (Also, coincidence? The Capers had 12 more rebounds and took 10 more shots.)
- Ottawa Gee-Gees (316 points) (18-3 OUA, 9th RPI) — Host Carleton, as noted above. Warren Ward had 27 before fouling out, including 10 of 10 foul shots, part of Ottawa's 23-for-26 performance on the night. Josh Gibson-Bascombe played all 45, as you'd expect.
- Lakehead Great Group of Dudes (256 points) (16-4 OUA, t-7th RPI) — Two
at Westernat home against Western to finish the season. These games might be closer than you'd think. Lakehead's got their first-round bye locked up, but a loss Saturday or a Windsor win means they don't have home-court throughout the playoffs, a huge advantage for a Thunder Bay-based team.
Their first game was a thrilling 60-59 loss (well, thrilling for the other team) with neither team shooting well, but Western's 19-for-24 line from the charity stripe gave them an edge. Yoosrie Salhia was only 1 of 8 on the night. They did beat Western the next night, by 24 points, but lost home-court advantage when Windsor won. Jamie Searle had 28 in just 31 minutes. Western shot just 33% in the loss.
- Calgary Dinos (250 points) (15-5 CW, 6th RPI) — Host the voted-into-the-playoffs Lethbridge Pronghorns in their first-round matchup, starting Feb. 26.
- Windsor Lancers (189 points) (15-5 OUA, 3rd RPI) — At Guelph on Wednesday, host McMaster (7th in RPI) on Saturday. I actually caught the end of the Guelph game, with friend of the blog Greg Layson on the call, and it seemed like they were easily set to knock off the Lancers, like they almost did with Carleton earlier in the year, but instead of losing 75-74, they lost 84-83. Isaac Kuon led with 24, and Guelph's Jay Mott had 22 points in his last game at home. The Lancers then handled McMaster quite easily, with 42 points in the fourth quarter (no, really) to win 104-88. Mac only ran out eight players all game, though, with four players getting 33 minutes or more, and Keenan Jeppesen didn't play. Nigel Johnson-Tyghter and Enrico Di loreto both had 20, but it was Andre Smyth grabbing 12 along with 14 rebounds and six blocks that kept some guy's MUBL team in contention a little while longer.
- SFU Clan (179 points) (14-4 CW, 3rd RPI) — Host Regina starting next weekend.
- Saskatchewan Huskies (85 points) (14-6 OUA, 11th RPI) — Idle; host UFV next week.