- UBC (17-1, 1st RPI): Host Alberta in best-of-three series. The first one was a 92-62 blowout with Kyle Watson scoring 25 in 23 minutes: he was 8-for-10 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line. Game 2 was Friday night, and another 30-point win and then some: 103-68. I had UBC as 87% favourites to win the Canada West playoffs (99.3% to beat Alberta), and they're well on their way. Brent Malish played just six minutes in this one as Kevin Hanson ran out a different starting lineup.
UBC has now clinched home-court advantage up until the Final 8, and play Saskatchewan in the semifinal.
- Carleton (20-2, 2nd RPI): York on Saturday. An early spread on that one is about 26 points, but York did their part and kept it within half of that. Kevin McCleery had 22 in the Ravens' 78-65 win. Carleton now plays Ottawa, once again, in the OUA East final.
- Cape Breton (17-1, 9th RPI): Rematch at St. F-X on Friday as their regular season winds down. Not to reduce it all to the last minute, but: they pulled within one on a Paris Carter three-ball with thirty seconds to go and then stopped the X-Men, leaving them about half that time to get a basket. Carter tried from downtown again and missed, and no other shots came as CBU lost 81 to 80.
- St. F-X (17-1, 5th RPI): As noted, beat CBU 81-80. It was the Riiny and T-Bear show: Christian Upshaw got 33 points; Riiny Ngot came in to replace Alberto Rodriguez (who had four fouls) and blocked four shots right away. Another great game between these two teams...let's hope they meet again for the AUS championship.
- Ottawa (18-4, 7th RPI): Host Queen's in OUA quarterfinal, who ran out a short lineup (only seven players got more than three minutes on the court) and fell behind early. Ottawa won it 77-61, Josh Gibson-Bascombe hitting 25 and Warren Ward also reaching 20 to offset the 23 and 10 rebounds from Mitch Leger.
- Calgary (15-5, 6th RPI): Host Lethbridge starting Friday in best-of-3. Wayne Thomas has more. They won the first 62 to 57, but that score hides the story of the game: another second-half collapse vs. Lethbridge. The Dinos were up 42 to 19 at the half and were outscored 22-9 in the third. They shot just 31%, Tyler Fidler going, wait for it, 0-for-14. I'm not really sure how they won.
The rubber was an eight-point win by Calgary (87-79), and even though the Pronghorns had five players in double digits, so did the Dinos: 26 from Robbie Sihota and 20 from Fidler, who was a much-better 8 of 19 this time out. Ross Bekkering had four blocks, channeling his brother.
- Windsor (17-5, 3rd RPI): Beat Laurier by the same score that Calgary beat Lethbridge. This one saw WLU go 4 of 6 from the line, but Windsor went 14 of 15; in other words, the entire margin of victory. Take from that what you will. Isaac Kuon had nine points in the fourth to hold Laurier off, as part of his game-high 22. Lakehead now comes to town next Saturday for the OUA West final, and the winner earns a spot in the Final 8.
- Lakehead (17-5, 10th RPI): Host Waterloo in OUA quarterfinal. Did you watch this game? You should have watched this game. Waterloo pulled away early but Lakehead's D held them down in the second half. At a time when the Thunderwolves were down by double digits, Ryan Thomson put the team on his back and kept them as close as he could; he ended up 8-for-13 with 20 points. Waterloo had their chances, but their shooting hurt them: outside of Dave Burnett and Matt Hayes (both playing their last CIS game) the team shot 28%.
- Simon Fraser (14-4, 4th RPI): Host Regina in best-of-3 series. It's the first playoff game the Clan men have hosted in a long time, says Howard Tsumura, along with other notes on SFU here. The Clan fell behind in the first half, down 40-26, and lost 77-71. Tsumura called the second game "a near carbon-copy in reverse" as SFU won 82-75 to stay alive for today's 3 pm PT elimination game.
And they won that game quite easily, 96-77, including a 36-22 third quarter. SFU now pulls Calgary in the semi next weekend at UBC.
- Saskatchewan (14-6, 11th RPI): Welcome UFV for their series. Perhaps one of the four top players in the conference that the Huskies have will see them through with a sweep in this one. Showron Glover and Michael Linklater each broke 25 points and Troy Gottselig, the third of those four, had a double-double in the Huskies' 96-85 Game 1 win. Game 2 was Friday and Glover went off for 41 points and Nolan Brudehl was an efficient 7 of 8 for 21 with eight boards. Saskatchewan advances to the Canada West Final Four next weekend at UBC.
Basketball: Men's Top 10 tracker; Playoffs begin
Eight of the top 10 teams have playoff games this weekend against non-top 10 teams, two of which have won those series and advanced to the conference final. The other two play each other in a rematch of last week's thriller that didn't disappoint.