Carleton Seeded No. 1, Lakehead Earns Wildcard

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OTTAWA (ISN) – For the fourth time in five years, the Carleton University Ravens have been established tournament favourites for the CIS men’s basketball championship, presented by Subway.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mbkb/index

The seeding was announced Sunday night for the 2012 CIS Final Eight, hosted by Atlantic University Sport. The tournament kicks off Friday at the Metro Centre in Halifax with the quarter-final round and culminates next Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Atlantic Time with the gold medal final.

All games from will be webcast by SSN Canada (ssncanada.ca), while EastLink TV will have live broadcasts of the semifinals and final.

Joining OUA champion Carleton in Nova Scotia’s capital will be the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champions), No. 3 Concordia Stingers (RSEQ champions), No. 4 Lakehead Thunderwolves (at-large berth), No. 5 Fraser Valley Cascades (Canada West finalists), No. 6 St. Francis Xavier X-Men (AUS finalists), No. 7 Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists) and No. 8 Acadia Axemen (AUS champions).

Lakehead received the at-large berth (wildcard) following a vote by a committee of CIS coaches. The Thunderwolves were ranked no lower than fourth the entire season in the weekly national coaches’ poll, including No. 2 nods each of the last seven weeks. They finished atop the OUA West standings with a sparkling 20-2 record before being upset by Ryerson, 86-70, in the conference semifinals.

Carleton has dominated CIS men’s basketball over the last decade winning seven of the last nine W.P. McGee Trophies, including an 82-59 victory over Trinity Western in last year’s title match. Seeded second behind UBC heading into the 2011 tourney, the Ravens were seeded No. 1 three straight years from 2008 to 2010.

The powerhouse from Ottawa is coming off an 82-39 domination of Ryerson in the OUA Wilson Cup final, which improved its overall record versus CIS opponents to 31-0 this season.

The Ravens open the defence of their CIS title Friday at 2:15 p.m. Atlantic Time against Acadia. The other quarter-final match-ups include Lakahead vs. Fraser Valley in the opener at noon, Alberta vs. Ryerson at 6 p.m., and Concordia vs. StFX at 8:15 p.m.

The CIS all-Canadians and major award winners will be announced on Thursday night.

Note: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday.

SEEDING

1. Carleton Ravens (OUA champions: 22-0 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)

2. Alberta Golden Bears (CWUAA champions: 14-6 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)

3. Concordia Stingers (RSEQ champions: 14-2 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)

4. Lakehead Thunderwolves (at-large entry: 20-2 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)

5. Fraser Valley Cascades (CWUAA finalists: 13-5 regular season / 3-2 playoffs)

6. St. Francis Xavier X-Men (AUS finalists: 16-4 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)

7. Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists: 13-9 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)

8. Acadia Axemen (AUS champions: 14-6 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times ATLANTIC TIME)

NOTE 1: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada (ssncanada.ca)

NOTE 2: Live broadcast of semifinals and final on EastLink TV

NOTE 3: Semifinals and final on tape delay on NBA TV Canada

Thursday, March 8

Team practices: 1 hour per team starting at 8 a.m.

19:00 All-Canadian Banquet (Westin Nova Scotian)

Friday, March 9

12:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 5 Fraser Valley vs. No. 4 Lakehead

14:15 Quarter-final #2: No. 8 Acadia vs. No. 1 Carleton

18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 7 Ryerson vs. No. 2 Alberta

20:15 Quarter-final #4: No. 6 StFX vs. No. 3 Concordia

Saturday, March 10

12:00 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2

14:15 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4

18:00 Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2

20:15 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4

Sunday, March 11

11:00 Consolation final (5th place)

13:15 Bronze medal game

16:30 Championship final

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