Five to Ponder: Playoff games (and playoff-seeding games) highlight five best to watch this weekend

Our second weekly look at the best upcoming games.

See the first post for the details. (* denotes an if-necessary third game in a best-of-3.)

5. Men's volleyball: Brandon at Calgary
Game score: 80
Fri 7:30pm MT / Sat 7:00pm MT / Sun 2:00pm MT*

One of the quarterfinal matchups in this powerhouse conference was bound to show up here, and it's kind of surprising the Brandon/Calgary series is not ranked higher.

At the very least, it would be harder to find a more even playoff matchup in any sport this year. These teams both finished 11-9 in conference play, split a pair of four-set games, are virtually tied in RPI (6th nationwide) and SRS (+1.1, fifth), and put up remarkably similar overall stats.

And, to add to all of that, this playoff series determines a spot at nationals.

4. Men's basketball: UPEI at Acadia
Game score: 81
Fri 8:00pm AT / Sat 4:00pm AT

Both teams are in the upper third of both the RPI and SRS rankings. These teams played on the island in November, with the Panthers winning both but only by a combined 12 points. The Axemen lost two close road games last weekend; UPEI played the same opponents in reverse, also losing both, although they took St. F-X to overtime.

It's not really clear what's going on in AUS basketball this year (in a normal universe, UPEI would be in second place, not tied for first) and these two games may help us separate one team from the other.

3. Men's basketball: Laurier at McMaster
Game score: 81
Sat 2:00pm ET

(It's 81.3 vs. 80.8, if you're wondering why this is ahead of UPEI/Acadia.)

Our Brian Decker, on this game: "This matchup will see two teams going in opposite directions likely facing off for a first-round bye in the OUA West playoffs. Laurier has lost two of their last three games (to their closest pursuers, Windsor and Mac, no less) to lose a tight grip on second place in the division, while McMaster has won six straight games and vaulted inside the CIS Top-10 for the first time all year. If Laurier beats Waterloo (5-15) and Mac beats Western (8-12) on Wednesday night, the winner of Saturday's game will have the first week of the postseason off.

"Both teams will be looking to get some key players back from head injuries: the Marauders lost team captain and three-point marksman Victor Raso to a likely concussion in a home win against Western on Feb. 8, while the Golden Hawks are missing skilled big man Pat Donnelly after he left the Hawks' Feb. 8 win over Guelph with a head injury. Raso's dependable shooting and veteran presence is a big part of the young Marauders' recent success, while Donnelly's tough inside presence and ability to stretch the floor with his jumpshot makes him a favourite target of point guard Max Allin's passes. Whether these teams have these key players back could have a big impact on who sits and who plays in the first week of the OUA West playoffs."

2. Men's basketball: UBC at Victoria
Game score: 84
Fri 8:00pm PT

No surprise here. It's the rematch of last week's game, which was itself equally watchable. And as our Cam Charron reminded us yesterday, the winner of this game hosts Calgary next week but the loser must travel to play either Alberta or (likely) Saskatchewan — a huge difference riding on 40 minutes. (Correction thanks to UVic's Andy Watson, who points out, correctly, that the Huskies have already clinched first.)

1. Women's hockey: Saskatchewan at Alberta
Game score: 84
Fri 2:00 pm MT / Sat 2:00 pm MT / Sun 2:00pm MT*

Two very good teams (both +2 or better in SRS, top 10 in RPI) begin a Canada West semifinal series on Friday that won't, in and of itself, determine who goes to nationals (it's Alberta plus the Canada West champion/runner-up this year). However, these games are of course hugely crucial for the Huskies nonetheless, as they have to win two of three here and two of three next week, likely against the Dinos, if they want to return to Edmonton in March.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. Update: With Mac's win over Western and Laurier's loss to Waterloo, the winner of Saturday's game in Hamilton is still for a first-round bye. The winner will finish 17-5 and the loser will finish 16-6.

  2. Won't the loser of UBC-UVic play at Alberta? The loser will be the #3 seed in the Pacific conference and thus slated to play Prairie #2 (Alberta).

  3. Yes, of course. I managed to correct that incorrectly. Fixed now.