TORONTO — Ending a good season with consecutive losses when a CIS Final 8 berth was one win away might be the worst feeling in university basketball.

The Windsor Lancers, left with such a bitter taste 52 weeks ago at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, will likely have to win Saturday's OUA Final Four bronze-medal game to avoid a repeat after losing 84-71 to the No. 1 Carleton Ravens in Friday's early semifinal. Carleton did what Carleton does, getting separation in the first half with a quarter break-bridging 12-2 run and a 10-0 run just before recess. The Lancers got the deficit down to single digits only twice in the second half, but couldn't come back.

Windsor will face McMaster at 4 p.m. Saturday for the bronze medal, with the OUA's second berth on the line. Cross-town rivals Carleton and Ottwa will play in the Wilson Cup for the second season in a row with each already having a tournament ticket in hand.

"We have to put it behind us, we have to refocus on tomorrow, and I don’t think it’s going to be hard," said Lancers fifth-year centre Lien Phillip, whose team lost go-to-nationals games in 2013 to Ottawa and Lakehead after star guard Josh Collins was injured in practice the day before the Final Four. "We understand that we put our best effort forward. We’re looking forward to Saturday. It was good because we know that we can play with [Carleton]. They just made us pay for every mistake.

"Definitely, being here before is something we can apply," said Phillip, who had 12 points and five rebounds. "It has a lot to do with how we respond. We don’t want the same thing to happen again. I think we’ll be ready."

Carleton (30-0 in CIS play) was denied its trademark three-point game, but the Final 8 host turned the Lancers' aggressiveness against it with a characteristic passing display. Phil Scrubb, who's gunning for his third consecutive Moser Trophy, led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Thomas Scrubb added a 17-8-7 line. Kevin Churchill took advantage of some out-of-sync Windsor rotations to hoop 14. The three-time all-Canadian forward Tyson Hinz added 11 and Victor Raso had 11 off the bench without trying a two-pointer.

"Every team’s capable of beating us," Phil Scrubb said. "We just have to bring more fire, especially on the defensive end."

Dave Smart's main post-game talking point was that Carleton caught a break from Windsor, which shot an effective 35.3 per cent (16-of-51 overall, 4-21 from three) having a cold night. The 13-point margin was Carleton's third-tightest game vs. a Canadian foe this season

"Compared to our past teams, we’re struggling on defence," he said. "The ball is not going where it needs to go. Offensively, we're doing well.

By the time Collins (held to seven on 3-for-11 shooting) and fellow fifth-year guard Enrico Diloreto (17 points) got going, the deficit was insurmountable. The kicker for the Lancers is that it cancelled out Carleton on the boards (37-36 for Ravens) and at the line (going 21-for-26 to the Ravens' 22-for-27). A 28% eFG in the opening 20 was the killer.

"We obviously settled down in the second half," Lancers coach Chris Oliver said. "We played much better offensively. It’s interesting because clearly Carleton makes you pay for every mistake you make. The second half, every time we made a defensive mistake whether it was a missed assignment or defensive rotation, they made us pay. And that’s why they’re so good.

"If you look at pure stats, we did a lot of things that we want to do," added Oliver, whose team got 11 points from Alex Campbell and a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double from Rotomi Osuntola Jr.. "We rebounded with them, we got to the free-throw line and made them, we didn’t turn the ball over [giving it up only eight times]."

The Lancers got within nine near the midpoint of both the third and fourth quarters. Each time, as if everyone had read the script, the Ravens regrouped and stretched the lead. In the fourth, right after a Khalid Abdel-Gabar triple to cut the margin to 72-63 with 5:21 left, Carleton broke down Windsor for a Churchillian layup to get back to a double-digit spread. It was a similar story in the third after the Lancers, otherwise dormant from downtown, cut loose with three consecutive triples to get within nine with 5:06 left. Smart took timeout rather than wait out a possession or two for the media timeout. Following the resumption of play, Thomas Scrubb canned his only triple of the night to spark a mini-run.

"Our coach made some adjustments and it got easier to move the ball better and we made some plays," said Phil Scrubb, whose team had 19 assists against just 10 turnovers.

Windsor's length and collective springiness gave the Ravens some difficulty during the first quarter. The Ravens had some bouts of being static on offence, leading to broken possessions. It pulled away early in the second, however, holding the Lancers without a bucket while Scrubb hooped five points and Clinton Springer-Williams sank a triple during that aforementioned 12-2 run.

Windsor, relying on some well-sprung traps, got back to six later in the quarter. Right on cue, Carleton found Raso for consecutive three-pointers from near identical points along the right wing. Carleton took a 16-point lead into the break, and left the Lancers looking for salvation on Saturday in order to look forward to a happy Selection Sunday. Oliver, whose team last went to the tournament in 2010, is confident of a bounce-back. The fact his team didn't throw in towel might be ominous.

"The first thing we said to our games is it’s a mindset game," Oliver said. "We’ll give ’em the two hours this next game [between McMaster and Ottawa] takes to feel down or get mad at themselves or whatever they want to do. Once that’s over, it’s a mindset to say it’s a new day, it’s a new game and our goals are still ahead of us, to get to nationals.

"We had a lot of challenges last year with Josh being injured the day before and the funk that caused. This team has adjusted really well to different things all year."
Next in a series of the kenpom-inspired Week in Review, and maybe the last one of 2013-14.

Biggest upsets
It's an all-West version of the upsets this week.

2. MBB: Winnipeg (14%) pushing Victoria to 3 games (Game 1). Awful night for the Terrell Evans Watch and his team in general, though UVic did pull it together in Games 2 and 3 to move on. (The 14% listed here represents the chance that Victoria wouldn't sweep.)

2. MBB: UBC (2%) pushing Alberta to 3 games (Game 2). Winning just one in this series was huge for UBC, going on the road against the third-best team in the country. Winning two of three would have been inexplicable. See below for more on the game they won.

Crazy comebacks
The teams who should have lost, but didn't.

3. WBB: Laurier (9.3%) over Brock, Wednesday (play-by-play, video). I realize we just had some hockey and curling matches of import, but let's go ahead and say that the Golden Hawks are Canada's Team™. After this win and another on Saturday vs. Western, they're now just one more away from the Final 8, which would be the perfect topper to a ridiculous OUA West season. Entering this game, Laurier had defeated teams who were still alive in the playoffs by 4 (Queen's), 2 (Laval), 1 (Western), and 1 (McMaster). And what happened here? Down 12 with 12 minutes to play, they doubled up 18-9 on Brock in the fourth quarter and won by 5. There is a good chance that Western would be in the Final 8 if the bounces in this game went another way. Shades of 2011...

2. MBB: Western (7.2%) over Lakehead, Wednesday (play-by-play). If, at any point, someone at Western wants to make their wins or losses more "normal" or "boring" please consider how much enjoyment the rest of us are getting out of this. (Example of the alternative.) In this one the Mustangs were down 5 with two minutes left, then got a three-point play, a three-point shot, and then two more free throws to put it away. Lakehead committed 20 turnovers, three during the crucial stretch at the end.

MBB: UBC 79 at Alberta 78 (Feb. 22, 2014)
1. MBB: UBC (<0.1%) over Alberta, Saturday (play-by-play). Alberta had a 13-point lead with about four minutes to go (see chart at left), having already won Game 1 by 20 points (though with only a six-point halftime lead). They also had 25 fouls in this game, the 25th and final being the most damaging, as it came with no time left and led to the game-winning free throw. UBC went to the line 20 times more than Alberta did, and converted on 32 of their 35 attempts. Alberta would then win the third game Sunday 80-67, but it wasn't as one-sided as it looked: they were only up 8 in the last minute. If they are one of the so-called "teams that could beat Carleton" then this was, if nothing else, a good series for Carleton.

Biggest changes in SRS rank

Up: UNB MBB (+7, 36 to 29). Swapping spots, more or less, with St. F-X after beating them and CBU this weekend. There is hardly any space between 29th and 38th, so this change looks bigger than it is.

Down: StFX MBB (-6, 30 to 36). Don't look now but the X-Men have lost five of seven. That just brings Dave Smart's record-breaking game a week or so closer.

Slowest game of the week: WBB Ottawa at Carleton, Saturday (65 possessions).
Carleton again. Way too many offensive rebounds allowed by Ottawa in a 59-37 loss. There have been better playoff games than this. When the winning team is shooting below 40%...

Fastest game of the week: MBB MUN at SMU, Friday (101 possessions)
Another amazing/invisible performance from Jacob Hynes, especially considering the pace of this game: 31 minutes played, zero points, one shot, one rebound, one assist. The fans who shoot at halftime for a campus store gift card get more touches than he does.

Terrell Evans Watch

As mentioned above, not a lot went right on Friday for Evans and the Vikes. Better on Saturday, with 8 boards and a game-high 18 points. Then 29 points on Sunday. He just wanted to make an entrance, really. He'll have Fraser Valley to deal with next, and then either Saskatchewan or Alberta, then potentially Carleton or the OUA third-place team after that. The Watch will stand on guard throughout.

Best games of the upcoming week (all times Eastern)
Final 8 play-in games are denoted with * at the beginning.

* MBB: Victoria vs. UFV (CW semifinal, Friday, 6:00pm).

* MBB: Ottawa vs. McMaster (OUA semifinal, Friday, 8:00pm). The second, and better, of the two Wilson Cup semifinals. If (a) you're in the GTA, and (b) you like basketball, but (c) don't go to these games, then (b) is probably false.

* MBB: Saskatchewan at Alberta (CW semifinal, Friday, 10:00pm).

WBB: Saskatchewan at UBC (CW quarterfinal, Friday 10:00pm, Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 5:00pm if necessary). WBB matchup of the week. The teams ranked ahead of the Huskies are either not playing this week, or are hosting their playoff game(s). Those that are playing either have already qualified for the Final 8 or aren't facing an opponent as good as UBC.

* MBB: OUA bronze-medal game (Saturday, 4:00pm). Presuming the entirety of Carleton University doesn't sink into the Rideau this week, this will be Windsor/McMaster or Windsor/Ottawa. Either one will be excellent. We will have coverage of the Wilson Cup tournament here, by the way.

* WBB: Queen's at Carleton (OUA East final, Saturday 6:00pm). Two of the top 10 defences nationwide, and the slowest pace factor in the country from the Ravens. If you like high scores, this game really isn't for you.

MBB: CW final (Saturday, TBD). Likely the "who doesn't have to play Carleton?" game. Victoria lost this one last year to UBC; thankfully for them, we know UBC won't be their opponent this time should they make it back there.

* MBB: AUS final (Sunday, 1:00pm). Teams to be determined, obviously, but an important game regardless.
Next in a series of the kenpom-inspired Week in Review.

Biggest upsets Only upset

1. MBB: UBC Okanagan (18%) over TRU, Saturday (box). Meaningless game for TRU? Perhaps. But a loss to a 4-18, last-place team in the midst of your best season ever and the week before your first CIS playoff game ever? Definitely. Sure, the WolfPack regulars sat a lot of this one out ... but I still don't think this is the result they wanted.

Crazy comebacks
The teams who should have lost, but didn't.

3. MBB: Concordia (2.7%) over UQAM, Thursday (play-by-play). February madness continues. Another brutal game like this for UQAM, who may have played themselves out of the RSEQ playoffs. Up 71-56 late in the third, then a 12-0 run later...well, you can guess what happened. Note that Concordia went 23 for 28 from the line, 13 of which came after that 71-56 point. So more than one made free throw per minute. That'll do.

2. MBB: Queen's (1.1%) over Toronto, Friday (play-by-play). Down 75-69 with two minutes to go, Queen's would score 10 points on 3 shots the rest of the way (yes, you read that correctly) and U of T would score 0.

1. MBB: Brock (0.4%) over Western, Wednesday (play-by-play). Again with the Mustangs!? Has anyone checked on Brad Campbell? This game and the last one are now the difference between their going to Lakehead and hosting Lakehead tonight. They had a 37-18 lead at the half here, holding Brock to a 5-point second quarter. But Dani Elgadi scored 11 in a row (!), part of his 31 on the night. They even had a six-point lead late before Brandon John made two shots at the end: it went 71-68, 71-70, then 72-71.

Biggest changes in SRS

Up: Calgary MBB (+5, 28 to 23). A good, but too-little-too-late weekend vs. Lethbridge, losing by 2 after being up entering the fourth and an overtime win by 13. Sounded like a good series, as friend of the blog Wayne Thomas has outlined (here and here).

Down: UPEI MBB (18 to 24). Remember, kids: friends don't let friends lose to Memorial.

Slowest game of the week: WBB Algoma at Carleton and Algoma at Ottawa, Friday and Saturday (65 possessions each).
The Thunderbirds of northern Ontario lost these games 72-31 and 88-52 to end the year as the only winless team in either men's or women's CIS basketball. We probably didn't need any more possessions in these games. Algoma scored 3 in the third vs. Carleton and 4 in the first vs. Ottawa.

Fastest game of the week: MBB SMU at Acadia, Monday (93 possessions per 40 minutes)
Monday as in last Monday, as in nine days ago. There were actually 104 possessions, but it was an overtime game. Remember games like these, with 73 missed shots, when people use rebound-per-game totals instead of rebound percentages to claim a team has rebounding strength. Also check out how these teams combined for 113 points in the second half alone. Then 21 more in five minutes of OT. A 106-101 final for SMU, and I think they only stopped at 106-101 because the arena staff had to go home.

Terrell Evans Watch

UVic won both of their final regular-season games, against what remains of the UBC Thunderbirds. Evans scored 40 in the weekend, including 26 on 10/13 shooting with 7 defensive rebounds in road game of the pair. He currently holds the highest PER among non-Ottawa-based players, fourth overall behind Terry Thomas, Tyson Hinz, and Phil Scrubb. He is outshooting every Raven except Victor Raso. Time to start a Terrell Evans MVP Watch? (Wayne goes with Jordan Baker, another good choice. But is he subtly unadaptable to Eastern life?)

Best games of the upcoming week (all times Eastern)
There are lots of them.

WBB: Brock at Laurier (Wednesday (tonight!), OUA West quarterfinal, 6:00pm). For some reason the OUA and CIS sites are calling this a Brock home game. It's not; Laurier's own schedule (and the fact that 15 > 11) confirms that. A Laurier win puts them in the Western game on Saturday; a Brock win, at Windsor. The best of the women's games in the OUA this week.

MBB: York at Laurentian (Wednesday, OUA East quarterfinal, 8:00pm). It's your last OUA East game not against Ottawa or Carleton, boys. Better make the best of it.

MBB: Lethbridge at UFV (Thursday, Friday, Saturday if necessary, CW quarterfinal, 10:00pm all days). These two teams played in this series two years ago and gave us this ending. (Don't tell anyone, but I think his foot was on the line.)

MBB: TRU at Saskatchewan (Friday, Saturday, Sunday if necessary, CW quarterfinal, 8:00pm all days). Adjacent in our team rankings, and both left outside the official Top 10, the Wolves and HuskyPack will provide us with good one. As mentioned, it's TRU's first playoff series.

WBB: TBD at Western (Saturday, OUA West semifinal, 1:00pm). Likely either McMaster or Laurier will be the opponent here, but Lakehead-Western, or Williams-Vaughan, would be off the hook as well. A great game to decide who gets to, well, lose to Windsor and then play for the third spot into nationals.

WBB: McGill at Concordia (Saturday, 2:00pm). Season finale for the top two teams in the Quebec circuit, with a home game vs. UQAM likely on the line for the Stingers. (Because that's such a long road trip otherwise.). [Correction: all RSEQ playoff games will be played at Laval this year.]

WBB: TBD at Carleton (Saturday, OUA East semifinal, 5:30pm). Both Ottawa and Toronto would match up well; a double upset by the 5 and 6 seeds would make this a Ryerson-Carleton game, which wouldn't be nearly the same as its men's counterpart.

MBB: Acadia at Dalhousie (Saturday, 7:00pm). Not as lopsided as it seems, and the Tigers will have home court. Of course now that I've said that, Acadia will win by 35.

MBB: TBD at Ottawa (Saturday, OUA East semifinal, 8:00pm). A potential Ottawa-Ryerson game, a game between Nos. 2 and 6 in the country, that is only a conference quarterfinal shouldn't even be legal. That might just be the best game left on the entire CIS schedule, up to and including the Final 8.
(Longtime AUS hockey follower Eric Drummie has volunteered another report this week. Thanks Eric.) 

With one week left, and only two games, we all know who is in the playoffs and who has the byes. But, we have no clue who will play who. Yet. We do know where each pair of teams sits – UNB and Acadia sit at the top with first-round byes, but first place is still up for grabs. UdeM and UPEI sit in third and fourth spot with UdeM having a one point lead and StFX and SMU sit fifth and sixth with StFX having a one point lead. So the playoff combinations are all still up for grabs.

Next in a series of the kenpom-inspired Week in Review. Through games on Sunday.

Biggest upsets

2. MBB: TRU (26%) over Victoria, Friday (box). Ta'Quan Zimmerman gives the people what they want. 14-29 shooting, three 3s, 31 points. Add in nine rebounds, four assists and a lone turnover. Kid can hoop, and his effort led Thompson Rivers to the win over the No. 4 ranked Victoria Vikes. The 82 points on 71 possessions from TRU is the impressive number here, because Victoria had the best DRtg in the conference, at 87.

1. MBB: Memorial (22%) over Dalhousie, Saturday (box). The box score from this one is bizarre. Dalhousie shot 28 per cent and only lost by five. They only had five turnovers though, which is why the margin was so slim. No standout performers on either side — Memorial was just efficient. Caleb Gould had 15 points on 7-10 shooting while also snagging 12 rebounds. The win doesn't do much for the standings, as Memorial is 2-14 and Dalhousie is 4-12. Interesting note: Jacob Hynes of Memorial played 27 minutes and did not attempt a field goal. He split a pair of free throws, grabbed three rebounds, an assist and a block. Unsurprisingly, he has the lowest usage rate (5.6%) in the country.

Crazy comebacks
The teams who should have lost, but didn't.

4. MBB: McGill (4.1%) over UQAM, Saturday (play-by-play). Fairly close game throughout, but a Simon Bibeau three with seven seconds left tied the game and sent it to overtime. The low point for McGill was just before nailing that three. They went on to outscore UQAM 7-5 in the OT period and won 78-76.

3. WBB: Laurier (3.9%) over Lakehead, Friday (play-by-play). Lakehead continues their 2014 surge and nearly swept the Golden Hawks this weekend. Laurier was able to steal the first game on the double-header, despite being down 30-16 with 7:27 left in the first half. The Golden Hawks didn't just win; they were actually able to come back and hold the lead going into the locker room, dropping 28 points in the quarter. The OUA West continues to be the strangest conference in women's hoops.

WBB: UNB 57 at Cape Breton 62 (OT) (Feb. 7, 2014)
2. MBB: Waterloo (3.6%) over Western, Saturday (play-by-play). It has to be a frustrating season for fans of the Western Mustangs, who have not shown any consistency this year. They lost to Waterloo in crazy fashion, allowing the game to go to overtime. The play-by-play is inaccurate, so it's hard to tell exactly what happened, but the low point was with Waterloo down by two late in the fourth. Warrior guard Mike Helsby knocked down a two-pointer to knot it at 71, and Waterloo would prevail in OT. Western's Eric McDonald missed a tying free throw late, and Greg Morrow missed the ensuing putback. So it goes.

1. WBB: Cape Breton (<0.1%) over UNB, Friday (play-by-play). Down 13 with 4:27 to go, and their chances of winning basically at zero (see chart), Cape Breton mounted a ridiculous comeback, albeit in a low-scoring affair. With 29 seconds left, the Capers took a 50-49 lead. UNB tied it with a free throw, and yet again, the game headed to overtime. Free throws with 42 seconds left gave the Capers a one-point lead, and the Varsity Reds went cold for the rest of the game to concede the loss.

Biggest changes in SRS

Up: Laurentian MBB (+3, 15 to 12) and Lakehead WBB (+3, 24 to 21).
Laurentian has been inconsistent this year and most of that has to do with playing on the road. They are 3-6 away from Sudbury and 9-2 at home. They beat Ryerson this weekend, hanging 82 points on a team with a better defensive rating than Carleton. The Voyageurs probably have the best home atmosphere I have been to this year (and yes, I have been to Lakehead). The place is packed, the fans are loud and the players love it. Expect them to sink next week though, as they travel to Ottawa to take on the Gee-Gees and Ravens.

Beating a dead horse a bit here, but Lakehead is putting out a solid women's basketball product. Jylisa Williams is damn fun to watch and the team can get points from a handful of other players. The Thunderwolves let the first game against Laurier slip away, but they were able to win the second. Should they have completed the sweep, their ranking would have soared even higher. If they had Williams all season, the OUA West would be even more competitive than it already is. Scary thought.

Down: McGill MBB (11 to 15).
Can we rally to rescind RSEQ's berth in the Final 8 this year? McGill seems likely to emerge from the conference, but they have not taken advantage of weaker teams. Their offense is 10th in ORtg and they play against a division that has not had anyone else sniff the top-ten rankings. Someone is going to miss out on the tournament so we can watch McGill get pummelled. This RSEQ rant is a recording.

Slowest game of the week: WBB UQAM at McGill, Thursday (66 possessions).
62-59 is the final, and the teams combined for 39 turnovers. Probably not the game you would want to show someone who has never watched basketball before. Their rematch was just as slow. RSEQ hoops, you guys!

Fastest game of the week: MBB SMU at UPEI, Saturday (96 possessions)
In a match-up of the No. 2 (UPEI) and No. 3 (SMU) teams in pace, 96 possessions should not come as a surprise. A 97-93 win for UPEI was the result, but SMU actually launched a late comeback attempt. Down 91-73 with 2:17 left, SMU went on a tear and made it a two-point game late. Not too surprising to see an up-tempo team put up points in a hurry, though.

Ta'Quan Zimmerman Watch

Have to give credit to Zimmerman this week for his performance over a fantastic defensive team. I talked about his stats in the win over Victoria early, but in the rematch, Zimmerman was just as impressive. He had 23 points on 9-17 shooting, including three of six from beyond the arc. Only four rebounds and two assists, but an efficient evening nonetheless. Thompson Rivers has just an outside shot of making the Final 8, but it would be fun to see what he could do on the national stage.

Best games of the upcoming week (all times Eastern)
All listed games include webcast link.

WBB: Western at Brock (Wednesday, 6:00pm). This tilt is massive. Brock is tied at 11-9 with McMaster, and Mac has the tie-breaker in points. Western is sniffing Laurier, only one game behind. Brock needs to create separation to earn a home playoff game, but Western could get an important bye and home game.

MBB: Laurentian at Ottawa (Friday 8:00pm). Ottawa's No. 2 seed is safe, but Laurentian could use a win over Ottawa to give themselves an outside shot of getting ahead of Ryerson. The Voyageurs are behind two games but they need this one to even have a chance.

WBB: Saskatchewan at Alberta (Friday 8:00pm, Saturday 7:00pm). A win for Saskatchewan would tie the two squads and give the Huskies some more credibility as a wild card bid. They have beat the better teams in the Pacific division, and splitting the games with Alberta — the loss being a close one — would be a positive.

MBB: Saskatchewan at Alberta (Friday 10:00pm, Saturday 9:00pm). Same schools, different teams. Saskatchewan peaked at No. 5 in the CIS rankings (now No. 9) and a win over Alberta would be beneficial to their playoff run. They can't get first place in the Prairie division, but they could at least raise some eyebrows about their chances at making the Final 8.

MBB: Victoria at UBC (Friday 11:00pm). UBC does not have many wins over good teams this year. They have a notable win over Saskatchewan, but a win over Victoria could put them over Thompson Rivers and help UBC avoid the Vikes in playoff action for as long as possible.

WBB: Western at Laurier (Saturday, 1:00pm). This could be the most important game in the OUA on Saturday. Should Western beat Brock and Mac beat Laurier, the teams would be tied for 2nd place. It would be a winner-take-all battle and an important one, because you get home-court advantage and a bye. Both teams have been shaky against the other playoff teams, so you can guarantee that they want to play as few games as possible in playoffs.
Next in a series of the kenpom-inspired Week in Review. A lighter post this week ...

Biggest upsets

None! The closest we got was Lakehead WBB over McMaster, but as Scott alluded to last week, wins by Lakehead might start looking less like upsets as the season wears on. After all, with every new game, the pre-Jylisa Williams Thunderwolves become less relevant to their overall ranking.

Crazy comebacks

1. MBB: Queen's (1.3%) over Laurentian, Saturday (play-by-play). Only one this week, and the play-by-play for the end of the fourth quarter should tell the story fairly well here. The high point for Laurentian was with 1:22 left, when they had a nine-point lead and still had possession.

Biggest changes in SRS
SRS, or Simple Ranking System, is the basis for our basketball team rankings. These teams moved the most in the rankings vs. last week.

Up: Acadia MBB (+3, 15 to 12) and Laurier WBB (+3, 14 to 11). There was a multi-way tie for this so we just took the highest-ranked team in each league. Laurier kept it relatively close vs. Windsor and beat Brock by 20, a solid week. Acadia swept UNB, 93-83 and 83-64, in Fredericton. Both were on the fringes of the top 10 vote and will likely get more votes after this week.

Down: Ottawa WBB (12 to 15). Again, another tie so the highest-ranked team gets the mini-writeup here. Ottawa beat Ryerson by 2 and lost to Toronto by 4, neither one of which was in line with their previous ranking so the Gee-Gees are adjusted down to account for the under-performance.

Slowest game of the week: MBB UQAM at Laval, Saturday (61 possessions).
Welcome to RSEQ basketball. All five men's teams are among the slowest 13 in the country, and the women have four of the slowest 12. When it's two below-.500 teams, it is doubtful to be exciting basketball. This one was seven possessions slower than any other men's game this week. Seven! The slowest women's game was, no joke, also UQAM/Laval on the same day, at 63 possessions. A perfect four hours for those in la Vieille Capitale who don't want to stay home on a Saturday night but also don't want to get too excited.

Fastest game of the week: MBB Laurentian at York, Friday (94 possessions)
Well, when the teams combine for 51 points in the third and 50 in the fourth...

Maddie Stephen Watch
The kenpom version focuses on Alan Williams, UCSB's "undersized center [who] piles up stats like nobody else" and is "ignored by scouts and media alike." Our version rotates among a select few of the authors' favourites.

Owner of the 12th-best PER in Ontario this year and a 56th-place spot in our nationwide player rankings last year, Stephen is another of those underrated players who play on slow-paced teams and don't have gaudy scoring stats as a result. (She was also a rookie with a 25 PER playing behind Hannah Sunley-Paisley on the first Ottawa team to medal at nationals.)

This week Stephen had 9 points and 9 rebounds against Ryerson and 8 and 12 against Toronto. Not the best pair of games, with twice as many turnovers in the U of T game as made baskets, especially given that she has such a low turnover rate to begin with. The Gee-Gees have a big weekend coming up with a road trip to Queen's, whom they must beat by 10 to hold the point-differential tiebreaker, and York.

Best games of the upcoming week (all times Eastern)
Games to watch for playoff implications, the closeness of the two teams competing, or the standout individual performances...

WBB: Brock at McMaster (Wednesday 6:00pm). Gee, you think this might be a relevant story for this game? Aside from that, it's No. 9 vs No. 13, in a battle to climb out of fourth place in the OUA West. Laurier came on strong in the second half to complicate things in that division.

WBB: Ottawa at Queen's (Friday 6:00pm). 12-6 vs. 12-6 and, as mentioned, an important game for the division. Queen's will play 13-5 Carleton the next night, too, of course.

WBB: Saskatchewan at Winnipeg (Friday 7:00pm, Saturday 7:00pm). One of two road series for the Huskies to finish the season; next week's is Alberta, and they may both be 18-2 heading into that.

MBB: McMaster at Windsor (Saturday 2:00pm). Mac can clinch first in the division here if they win. That No. 1 seed in the West would give them the chance to qualify for the Final 8 before playing Carleton again.

WBB: McGill at UQAM (Saturday 5:00pm). The Quebec league is starting to get bunched up at the top after Concordia took two from McGill. This is No. 8 at No. 16 and could be a great under-the-radar matchup. Friend of the blog and regular MUBL champion Alexandre Tourigny will be calling this game for TVGO.

MBB: Ryerson at Laurentian (Saturday 8:00pm). It's the Rams' turn for the dreaded-by-Ontario-teams, business-as-usual-for-Canada-West-teams road trip to Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. Both teams here went 0-2 this past week, though Ryerson kept Carleton closer than anyone has all year.
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