Basketball: Week in Review, Feb. 19–23

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.
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