Men's basketball: Making close games a thing of the past. No more close games.

This week: the top three four five squads blew away their competition, and the Q saw a last-minute victory for their division-leading team.

(Latest CIS top 10; RPI rankings)

1. CARLETON RAVENS (21-0 OUA, 2nd in RPI, SRS of +21.4)

Topped 100 against both Toronto and Ryerson. Over the last three weeks, the Carletons have outscored their opponents by an average of 97 to 55. That tells you a) they're good (duh) and b) their opponents...might not be.

Next week: at Ottawa.

2. UBC THUNDERBIRDS (20-2 CW, 3rd in RPI, SRS of +19.9)

Handed TRU a beatdown on Friday (101-63) and then actually let them win...the second half on Saturday. Three WolfPack-ers hit 20 points in the second game, in which TRU actually outshot UBC 55% to 47%, but had 150% more turnovers. Not good.

The T-Birds now need only one win to clinch home-court throughout the Canada West playoffs (TWU, at 21-3, are the only others with a chance.) They're at UVic for two next week.

3. SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (18-4 CW, 6th in RPI, SRS of +17.4)

Duncan Jones led the Huskies with 21 in just 17 minutes in Thursday's 104-76 win over Regina. Both teams decided to score a few more baskets, but otherwise keep the score the same, on Saturday: 110-83 was the final, Jamelle Barrett going off for 33. The Cougars were outscored in 7 of 8 quarters.

Next week: at Calgary for two.

4. TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (21-3 CW, t-7th in RPI, SRS of +17.9)

101-68 and 103-76? Yeah, it's Manitoba, but still. Other than Calvin Westbrook on Saturday (24 on 10-of-11...nice), no Spartans played more than 26 minutes. All 12 saw action in the first game, for at least nine minutes each.

Next week: bye week. Trinity will host either Manitoba (oh, that should be close), UFV, or Calgary in the first round, and at worst they'll have to travel all the way to UBC the week after.

5. CAPE BRETON CAPERS (16-1 AUS, 1st in RPI, SRS of +8.3)

Did not play.

...well, that was easy. Next week: at UNB.

6. LAKEHEAD THUNDERWOLVES (16-4 OUA, 5th in RPI, SRS of +7.9)

Curiously close win over Brock on Friday (69-59) and then something more in line with expectations Saturday (78-59). The Badgers tied it up on Friday with 2:53 left in the third (see what having play-by-play does for our coverage? It's amazing! 20th century, here we come!) and were within two points as late as the last three minutes. Then Ben Johnson sunk a three, Brock turned it over, Matt Schmidt hit a jump shot and suddenly it was a seven-point lead with 1:47 to go. You can guess how the rest went.

Next week: at Western for two. They've clinched first place already, but the Mustangs have a shot at a home playoff game.

7. ST. FRANCIS XAVIER X-MEN (11-5 AUS, 4th in RPI, SRS of +13.4)

Doubled up Acadia (almost) at 100-51. Can we please get some close games up in here? The Axemen shot a remarkable 27.6%, which is remarkable because it's not their worst performance this season.

Next week: at Memorial for two.

8. LAVAL ROUGE et OR (9-4 QUBL, 16th in RPI, SRS of +0.5)

The Rouge et Or, or as Rod Black calls them, the "Rouge. Et. Or.", played one game and lost it to Concordia, 87-85. They haven't had two wins back-to-back in a month. Not quite sure how they lost this one, but thankfully the Stingers' website has more details on the ... hmm. Well, no matter, here's the play-by-play. Down two with 33 seconds to go, they...apparently...turned the ball right over to Concordia, then got it back and missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, but with the clock at 0:00 there was somehow enough time left for three shots.

Next week: Will hopefully not bend time at home against UQAM, or on the road against Bishop's.

9. DALHOUSIE TIGERS (11-5 AUS, t-7th in RPI, SRS of +11.8)

Beat Acadia 84-69 on Wednesday. The Tigers as a whole shot 54% and nobody topped 20. Joe Schow had 17 on 11 shots, a board away from a double-double.

Next week: host SMU, travel to Acadia for two.

10. WINDSOR LANCERS (14-6 OUA, t-9th in RPI, SRS of +7.9)

Beat Waterloo by 29 and Laurier by 33. Who was the dork who said they had just a 24% chance at a first-round bye? The Great Isaac Kuon Slump Of January 22, 23, And 29 appears not to be coming around for an encore; he was 8-for-54 (10 pts/40) in those three games and 37-for-77 (36 pts/40) since.

Next week: at home to Mac, at Guelph.
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  1. Was at the Regina/Sask. game. Huskie forward Nolan Brudehl received a vicious elbow to the forhead that opened up a pretty good gash. The Huskie players and coaching staff were irate. It occured in the first half (early second quarter if I remember correctly). Brudehl never returned to the game, but did return to the bench with a bandaged forhead and was expected to receive stitches following the game. There were two other hard fouls (pushes in the back) that left the Huskies looking for flagrant fouls. These two teams will be meeting in the playoffs and Saskatchewan will kill them. The Huskies didn't even play that well last night, and still won by 27.

  2. Ranking the Huskie backcourt players from the last two seasons:
    1) Jamelle Barrett: Just phenomenal - should be CIS player of the year
    T2) Mike Linklater & Showron Glover: Both were slightly better defenders than Barrett, and made a slightly stronger tandem than Barrett and Chabot.
    4) Rejean Chabot: Outstanding player who can be somewhat inconsistent at times (first game of TWU double-dip, and second game of Regina home & home perfect examples of this). When his shot is off, as it was last night, it leads to some mental errors and turnovers. Like the 3 above him, however, he is absolutely fearless.

  3. Agreed, Barrett should be CIS POY (Doerksen is a very very close second). He kept the Huskies in the Friday game at TWU and he's been fantastic all year.

  4. I wonder if Roy Rana still thinks that York is the most talented team in the division?