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LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) –
The Trinity Western University men’s and women’s basketball teams open their 2012-13 campaign at home Nov. 2-3 against local rival UBC as they will embark upon what is now a 22-game Canada West schedule.

The Spartans schedule, which will see them play each Pacific division team twice and each Prairie team once, has Trinity Western making its first road trip of the season to Prince George, B.C. where it will take on UNBC (new this year from the BCCAA) Nov. 9-10 for the first time as CIS foes.

This year, Spartans fans will be treated to a plethora of exciting weekends at the Langley Events Centre, including a post-Christmas break weekend in which Trinity Western will host Alberta, last year’s CIS silver medalists, Jan. 11, and Saskatchewan, last year’s Canada West regular season champions and the team that knocked Trinity Western out of the playoffs last year, Jan. 12. Two weeks later, Spartans fans will get their first look at the Mount Royal Cougars (new from the ACAC) when they come to Langley Jan. 25-26. Trinity Western will conclude its season with a home-and-home series Feb. 15-16 against rival Fraser Valley, with the Spartans final game of the regular season being played at the Langley Events Centre.

The Spartans will play all but one of their weekend series on Friday and Saturday nights. The only series of the year that won’t be played on Friday and Saturday nights will be a two-game set at Thompson Rivers Jan. 31-Feb. 1, which will be contested on a Thursday and Friday.

See below for the full Trinity Western and Canada West schedule.

With both Mount Royal and UNBC joining the conference this year, the now 16-team league will be split into two eight-team divisions, Pacific and Prairie, and, for the first time, will feature a 22-game schedule.

With an even number of teams in both divisions, there will no longer be a post-season Wild Card berth. Instead, the top four teams from both divisions qualify for playoffs. Both new schools will join the Pacific Division, meaning Mount Royal and Calgary will be based in the same city, but in different divisions.

Also new this season is an expanded number of mid-week events with Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night games.

On the women’s side, the new season tips off Nov. 1, with the Regina Cougars hosting their provincial rival, the Saskatchewan Huskies, in a clash of teams that were ranked in the CIS Top 10 all last season. The Cougars and Huskies last played in the fifth-place game at Nationals, where Regina prevailed 94-90.

All teams get underway in Week 1, with defending conference champion UBC taking on the Spartans, Nov. 2-3. Also on Nov. 2, UNBC enters the Canada West fray with the first of a two-game set at Thompson Rivers to face the WolfPack, while Mount Royal awaits its opening contests in Calgary against the Fraser Valley Cascades, Nov. 3-4. UNBC placed fifth at CCAA Nationals this past spring, while MRU lost out in the ACAC conference final.

Early in the New Year, on January 19, UBC and Regina go head-to-head at War Memorial Gym in Vancouver in a rematch of the 2012 Canada West final.

On the men’s side, the conference schedule opens with Saskatchewan at the CKHS in Regina. The host Cougars are coming off a 5-15 season, while the Huskies were 16-4 last year before the 2010 CIS champions lost in the Final Four semifinals.

Like the women’s side, the UNBC Timberwolves play their first series at Thompson Rivers Nov. 2-3, with the MRU Cougars hosting UFV Nov. 3-4. The Cougars made it all the way to the CCAA national gold medal game in 2011-12.

After emerging from the pack to win the conference and go on to a CIS silver medal, the Alberta Golden Bears and new head coach Barnaby Craddock begin their quest for another title on Nov. 2 when they host the first of two games against the Brandon Bobcats, the team Craddock coached to a national silver medal in 2007.

With just one game separating the top three Pacific teams last season, Victoria, UBC and Fraser Valley will no doubt look for a solid start and good head-to-head matchups in anticipation of another tight battle. The Vikes and T-Birds play a pivotal two-game series to conclude the Canada West season on Feb. 15-16.

The final conference season games for both the men and the women will be played the week of February 13-16. Best-of-three quarter-finals take place Feb. 22-24, with the highest-seeded QF series winners hosting Final Four events the weekend of March 1-2. The women’s Regionals are March 8-10, the same time as the men’s CIS Final 8 national championship, hosted by Carleton University in Ottawa. The women’s Final 8 tournament is March 15-17 at the University of Regina, where the Cougars are guaranteed a spot as Host.

Complete, detailed broadcast schedules will become available as the season draws closer.” href=”” target=”_blank”> /