Two Raven blowouts, two Thunderdome wins from the Great Group Of Dudes[Teammates], and a top-five split in Langley highlight this week's men's basketball action.
#1 Carleton Ravens (2nd in RPI):
Their 101-24 win over RMC on Friday had a few people wondering if there was some sort of typo, while an 81-41 thrashing of Queen's in their final regular season home game came without much surprise. Of note in that Queen's win was that Golden Gael star Dan Bannister was held to just four points on 1/12 shooting, while no Raven other than Phil Scrubb played more than half the game.
Earlier in the week, Carleton overcame an inexplicable first quarter to run away from Ottawa in the Capital Hoops Classic. This might sound a little crazy, but I'm not surprised Carleton fell behind by 19 to the Gee-Gees early. They've hardly been tested by anyone this season, and an inspired Ottawa team came right at them early. Credit to the Carletons for dealing with the adversity well. 25 and 10 in that game from Tyson Hinz tells me he's not just feasting on blowout wins.
Next week: At Laurentian and York.
#2 UBC Thunderbirds (4th in RPI):
Enjoyed a bye week. They'll go to Regina for two next week, not this weekend, as some idiot said in a post a week ago.
#3 Saskatchewan Huskies (11th in RPI):
#4 Trinity Western Spartans (5th in RPI):
The Huskies came up with a big time character win 101-93 over Trinity Western on Saturday night. Trailing by 13 at the half and in danger of falling in back-to-back games to a conference rival, the Huskies turned it up a notch, limiting the always-beastin' Jacob Doerksen to a slow second half, and getting a huge three in crunch time from Jamelle Barrett. Rejean Chabot came back from a sub-par performance on Friday to score 35. Sasky had fallen 102-91 the previous night to the Spartans.
I don't think it's worth trying to make too much of the nos. 3 and 4 teams splitting a pair of back-to-back games. That's probably what you would think should happen, even if they're both in one team's barn. Still, the fact that the Spartans had a chance to put the hammer down in the second half and sweep the weekend over Saskatchewan is troubling, especially when they shot just 33 per cent after halftime.
Next week: The Huskies host Alberta for two, and the Spartans host Brandon for two.
#5 St. FX X-Men (3rd in RPI):
Those who questioned X's no. 5 ranking last week were somewhat vindicated this week after a shaky week by Steve Konchalski's squad. They somehow pulled out a win against Saint Mary's despite being down eight with just over a minute to go. No, you didn't misread that. But after beating UNB 102-85 thanks to 28 from Christian Upshaw, they let five Varsity Reds score in double digits and got out-rebounded 35-24 in a 94-82 loss.
I don't want to sound like a hater. It's just that X have had too many weeks like this to still be considered a top-10 team.
Next week: at Dalhousie on Saturday night.
#6 Cape Breton Capers (1st in RPI):
Slugged their way through a 78-69 win over UPEI despite 25 turnovers.
Next week: At Saint Mary's for two.
#7 Windsor Lancers (9th in RPI):
#9 Lakehead Thunderwolves (3rd in RPI):
The Lancers have now lost four of their last six after falling twice to Lakehead in Thunder Bay. Hey, remember when we were talking about Isaac Kuon as a potential POY candidate? He went 6-for-25 in Friday's 73-65 loss, and then 1-for-14 in a 77-66 Saturday loss. Ouch.
And what a signature weekend from the GGOD[T]s. Their depth is terrifying, and they've now got a two-game lead atop the brutal OUA West.
Next week: The Lancers host Guelph and then Laurier in another huge game, possibly for second place in the division; the Thunderwolves go to Waterloo for two.
#8 Laval Rouge et or (16th in RPI):
Got by McGill 72-66 thanks to a near triple-double from Jérôme Turcotte-Routhier: 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine turnovers. Oh, wait...
Next week: at McGill, then host Bishop's.
#10 Laurier Golden Hawks (7th in RPI):
Fell to 82-79 Western after Matthew Buckley missed one of three free throws that would have tied the game. They managed to survive by escaping with a 95-90 OT win over Brock on Saturday, thanks to a beastly 24-point, 17-rebound performance by super rookie Pat Donnelly.