Basketball: Men's top 10 tracker: Canada West teams watch Olympics, prepare for playoffs

Not much happening with the teams west of Kenora this week, as the playoff series begin next weekend. That leaves us with three conferences to check in on, but with no Q team higher than 24th in RPI, it's really just a set of two.

Highlights of this week's schedule: X-Men @ Capers (Wed), Mustangs @ Thunderwolves (Fri/Sat), Gee-Gees @ Ravens (Sat).
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. Lakehead Great Group of Dudes (256 points) (16-4 OUA, t-7th RPI) — Two at Western at 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. SFU Clan (179 points) (14-4 CW, 3rd RPI) — Host Regina starting next weekend.

  10. Saskatchewan Huskies (85 points) (14-6 OUA, 11th RPI) — Idle; host UFV next week.

Also receiving votes: McMaster (62), Saint Mary's (53), UFV (10), Dalhousie (8), McGill (7), UQAM (7).
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  1. *Lakehead is hosting Western for the games this weekend. Lakehead probably should have only moved up one spot to 7th, and Windsor shoved have moved to 8th. Also on a side note, McMaster really showed they deserved that top 10 spot people had been begging for them to get for the last month.

  2. At least Mac got a split with its best player Keenan Jeppesen on the sideline.
    Dal dropped two games, a 20 point loss to X and a loss to rival SMU.
    Unlike McMaster, Dal had their best player Simon Farine, but it just doesn't matter does it?
    If Mac doesn't deserve a top 10 spot perhaps Saskatchewan does or maybe even St. Mary's.
    SMU has beaten Dal twice and X and Cape Breton once.

  3. If you are interested, tonights game is streamed live at

    This game is one of the most anticipated games this season and is a cant miss!!

  4. X-CBU game was easily the best game I've seen this year in any conference. The loss probably hurts X in the top 10 voting but it doesn't hurt their rep for anyone who watched the game. Can't wait for the rematch.

  5. A three point loss in Sydney to the Capers isn't that bad.
    In fact, I kind of expected Cape Breton to win this one and X to return the favour in the rematch.
    Ultimately, barring a huge upset, these two teams will have their
    rubber match in the AUS final next month, which is a near perfect scenario.
    If that plays out, the loser of the AUS final most surely would get the wildcard nod.
    The only way I could see that not happening is if UBC got upset in the CW semis.

  6. What a game! and if the atmosphere of that game is any indication of what we can expect at the aus championship, we are in for a treat!!

  7. "If that plays out, the loser of the AUS final most surely would get the wildcard nod."
    Here's a debatable statement... I believe the OUA West is a stronger candidate for a Wildcard then an AUS for the simple fact that neither X or CBU would have such W/L records if they played in a stronger conference! Put Lakehead, Mac, Windsor, or even Guelph and in the AUS and see if X & CBU's records seem so "great"... doubtful!

  8. OUW could have 2 births in the nationals without wild card . IF CAR wins east the losers in the OUE & OUW playoff for a berth. IF OUW loses to OUE not sure if they deserve a wild card berth. OU would be a more likely choice if they lose and do not get one if the 3 berths . It is unlikely anyway that Ont. will get a wild card spot (they have 3 spots already & X&CBU have been ranked high all year.) IF both teams get to there finals the loser will probably get the WC( Unless UBC IS upset) . I do feel X & CBU have been ranked to high all year and records would no be as good f they played in any other conference other than Q . If either team does not get to their final they should not get a wild card spot .

  9. CIS Blog brought it up a while ago, again Cape Breton has 26 Assists on 30 made FG against X, but if you watch the highlights there are way more than 4 unassisted buckets.
    Does the CIS check the stats? Or will they just accept them as they are?

  10. Agreed that OUA should get the wildcard, given Carleton wins OUA. Yes it would give them 4, but all 4 deserve to be in OTT for the championship. If the wildcard is given elsewhere either OTT, WIND, or LU have been left at home, and all 3 teams have been in the top 10 all yr, playing in the toughest conference. All have big wins, and have been consistent all year. Anyone else interested in seeing the top 8 teams from the Top10 playing in Ottawa for a championship? Is there a team left out that DESERVES to be there? ..... Didn't think so.

  11. Well, last year, some people were ready to give Concordia the wild card spot even if they played in the Q, which was probably as strong as this year AUS.

    It's hard to put a 11 seeded team as a Wild Card (like let's say McMaster) instead of a Top 5 team (like X or Cape Breton).

  12. It is going to come down to this

    2 from Canada West
    3 from OUA
    1 from the Q
    1 from AUS

    and 1 from either the OUA or AUS

    It will be the OUA if it is Ottawa or Carleton that are the "4th" team, if it is Lakehead or Windsor that lose the West final + the 3rd place game the Cape Breton or the X will get the wild card...the only way it would go to Lakehead or Windsor is if the X lose again to Cape Breton and lose in their first playoff game (maybe in the AUS final).

  13. I agree with this last post. Doesn't seem right, As all the best teams wouldn't be @ nationals, but more then likely that's the outcome.

  14. I do not agree that it is "preordained" that the wild card needs to come from either the OUA or the AUS.

    Wild cards are chosen from nationally ranked teams that have fallen in the playoffs. On many occasions, the choice is between two teams. This year, I believe, the choice will be between three teams barring an upset or two in the playoffs. The three teams are:

    - the "third place" team in the west - probably either SFU or Calgary.
    - the second place team from the AUS - either SFX or the Capers
    - the "fourth best" team from the OUA - either Lakehead, Windsor or Ottawa.

    All these teams will have been ranked in the top 10 almost all year. All will have good records and will have a claim to say they should be chosen. It will be an interesting conference call to say the least but, in my view and based upon the criteria, it is up to the AUS representative to throw away the spot.

    The good news - any one of the teams listed above would make a great wild card.

  15. CBU and X are both legitimate teams and you can't hold it against them that the rest of the AUS is mediocre or bad. Remember that Dal came out of nowhere last year to win the league, so anything can happen in a single elimination tournament. I agree that OUA West is likely the strongest conference from top to bottom. There are no easy games and even Guelph at 5 and 16 has put serious scares into several teams.

  16. UQAM wins 64-57.
    McGill lose 86-74.

    UQAM clinch first place in the Q with 2 games remaining (one against Bishop's @ Lennoxville and one last game vs McGill @ UQAM).

    With the win, Bishop's now has a 2 points over the Stingers with one game in hand. Should the Gaiters win, they'll clinch 4th place in the Q...leaving McGill and Laval battling it out for 2nd and 3rd place.

  17. "Does the CIS check the stats ?"

    :) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :)

  18. It's being reported that William Donkoh and Tyler Richards were found guilty of assault. Does this mean the end of Donkoh this season? You would have to think so.

  19. I hate all the AUS bashing that goes on here. I've watched a lot of ball in the AUS and CWest, and I try to catch some OUA games on webcast if I can, and I think the top 4 AUS teams in any given year could be competitive in ANY division in the country. Even the teams that are categorized as bad in the AUS aren't that far removed from being very good teams. UNB is just about the only school in the conference that hasn't been competitive at some point in the last 5-6 years, and UPEI and Acadia are both just a couple years removed from having sensational teams.

    I wish there were some sort of national regular season interlock so that teams got more exposure nationally.

    Edit: Donkoh is probably done, but I think X can quite easily replace his 3.9 PPG.

  20. They should do the same thing they do in CIS football...some interlocked games.

  21. Bishop's beated Concordia tonight, 73-67.

    That means that the playoffs matchups are now known in the Q.

    UQAM will host Bishop's, on March 5th, at 7 PM.
    UQAM won 2 out of the 3 matchups between the two teams. They will meet one last time next week-end in Lennoxville.

    McGill and Laval will play each other(date, time, location to be determined).

    With the lost, Concordia misses the playoffs for the first time, since UQAM joinded the Q, making it a 5 teams conference.

  22. exciting game in Ottawa last night however our favorite mafia-based Simpson's character referee (hint: initials "FT") again made several perplexing calls/non-calls - both teams were affected and it added to the excitement level however terrible calls they were. GG's post player getting hammered across both arms on a layup attempt in front of T with no call and then an absolutely ridiculous clear path intentional foul on Elliott Thompson when it was clear that JGB fouled ET to get the ball in the first place, allowed Ottawa a window back into the game and then Donnie Gibson sank a buzzer-beating 3 to tie to force overtime. How this guy continues to be assigned these big games in which he clearly has shown they are too difficult for him to ref remains a mystery.

  23. Anon 8AM...
    You are absolutely right about that referee.
    He couldn't handle intermediate girl's bball yet here he was assigned to this game.
    JGB did foul ET clearly, but this dumbass swallowed his whistle.
    Of course he turned the ball over and then this moron calls a breakaway
    intentional foul so the GG's get the FTs and the ball!
    Really though, Carleton should have put it away long before this happenes.
    They had an 18 point lead at one point in the third quarter but frittered it away.
    Credit must go to the Gee's power trio of JGB, Ward and Donnie Gibson but
    the Ravens were their own worst enemies with turnovers and sloppy play.
    Mike Kenny has torealize as a 4th year starting PG he's too valuable to pick up needless fouls.
    He fouled out and was unavailable for the OT, but thankfully Willy Manigat,
    who also had 4 fouls ran the offence.
    The game ended when JGB, who was great despite the constant
    shadow of Cole Hobin, wasted too much time on Ottawa's final possession,
    (7 seconds on the clock) and threw a bad pass inside that went of his team mate's foot.
    So that's 1 straight first place finishes for Carleton...heck of an achievement.
    Wonder what the all time record for consecutive division titles is.

  24. Oops, make that TEN straight for Carleton, not 1.

  25. York comes back to make the playoffs despite being left for dead a couple of weeks ago after their supposed once-in-a-lifetime type win over Carleton. This is a dangerous team with Tyndale, Kravic and Ostap - still very young but dangerous. However they unfortunately will run into the Varsity Blues and Coach Katz who will have the answers for York.

  26. Outside of their improbable win over Carleton,
    York's 5 other wins came
    against RMC (2), Brock and their home and home with Laurentian.
    Five wins against 3 teams that ultimately missed the playoffs and
    one against a then ranked # 1 team...go figure, eh?

  27. Windsor Mac game was close until Windsor went on a 11-0 run early in the 4th. Within this span...Matt Handsor and Enrico Diloreto were lights out and Andre Smthye had some ridiculous blocks which were straight out of ESPN sportscentre highlights.

  28. William Donkoh is in the boxscores for the Xavier games this weekend. Why is he playing? He was GUILTY of assault this week!

  29. Anon: 2:54...does LU's wins rate any better then...Toronto, Queen's, RMCx2, Brock, Guelph................5 point loss to ottawa, 12 point loss to Carleton, OT loss to Ryerson, Queen's lost by 6, 9 point loss to Lakehead, 13 point loss to Mac (a lot of these losers were a lot closer until the last 2 minutes)

  30. Anon 9:04...
    Not exactly sure what point you are trying to make.

  31. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the playoff preview! :p
    I hope the coverage of the first set of results is just as in depth!

    I'm not a real hater, I was just looking forward to what normally is great coverage.

    How about Mac and Western both being "upset" at home! Its easy to say Obviously Keenan didn't play, but Mac has had some good games of late w/o him. Im just about to watch the Mac/Waterloo film to see how the game was actually played.

    And Kale, seems to have had a more Kale-esq game to help Laurier annihilate a western team coming off a split @ Lakehead. Allin is going to be a force to deal with for the next 4 yrs.

    Looking forward to Saturday.