OTTAWA (CIS) – For the third straight season and for the fourth time in five years, the reigning national champion University of Windsor Lancers head into the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS women’s basketball championship as tournament favourites.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb/index
The seeding was announced on Monday for the Final 8, hosted by Laval University in Quebec City. The eight-team tournament gets underway Thursday and culminates Sunday at 1 p.m. with the national final, live on Sportsnet 360. Saturday’s semifinals are live on Sportsnet ONE (noon & 2:30 p.m.) and all 11 games from the competition will also be webcast on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
In addition to the OUA champion Lancers, who are aiming for a record-tying fifth straight CIS title this week, the contenders for the 2015 Bronze Baby Trophy are the second-seeded UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champs), No. 3 McGill Martlets (RSEQ champs), No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists), No. 5 Alberta Pandas (Canada West bronze medallists), No. 6 Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champs), No. 7 Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists) and No. 8 Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ semi-finalists).
Thursday’s quarter-final matchups include Saint Mary’s vs. McGill in the 12:30 p.m. opener, followed by Ryerson vs. UBC at 2:30 p.m., host Laval vs. Windsor at 6 p.m., as well as Alberta vs. Saskatchewan at 8 p.m.
The Lancers were a logical choice for the No. 1 seed as they topped all 13 national weekly polls this season, posted a CIS-best 19-1 mark in league play and added three straight wins in the OUA playoffs, including a convincing 71-51 victory over Ryerson in the conference final. With another triumph on Sunday, Windsor would equal the five consecutive Bronze Baby titles captured by Laurentian from 1975 to 1979.
For the second year in a row, Alberta received the at-large berth (wildcard) following a vote by a committee of CIS coaches. The Pandas, who claimed Canada West bronze after going 16-4 in conference play, were ranked among the top six teams in the country all season and reached the top three in eight of 13 coaches’ polls.
UBC is the most decorated team at this week’s tournament with six Bronze Baby victories. Windsor (4) and Alberta (1) are the only other contenders to have hoisted the coveted trophy.
NOTES: All Wednesday practices at PEPS (Laval U) are open to the media, starting at 8:15 a.m (detailed schedule below)… A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday… The All-Canadian Banquet is set for Wednesday evening at Hilton Quebec.
1. Windsor Lancers (OUA champions: 19-1 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)
2. UBC Thunderbirds (CWUAA champions: 17-3 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)
3. McGill Martlets (RSEQ champions: 15-1 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
4. Saskatchewan Huskies (CWUAA finalists: 17-3 regular season / 3-1 playoffs)
5. Alberta Pandas (CWUAA bronze medallists: 16-4 regular season / 3-1 playoffs)
6. Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS champions: 16-4 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
7. Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists: 16-3 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)
8. Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ semi-finalists: 7-9 regular season / 0-1 playoffs)
Wednesday, March 11 (practices at PEPS – U Laval: OPEN TO MEDIA)
8:15 Saint Mary’s
17:30 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Hilton Quebec – Salle du Palais)
Thursday, March 12
12:30 Quarter-final 1: No. 6 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 3 McGill (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
14:30 Quarter-final 2: No. 7 Ryerson vs. No. 2 UBC (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 8 Laval vs. No. 1 Windsor (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 5 Alberta vs. No. 4 Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Friday, March 13
18:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, March 14
12:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (Sportsnet ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
14:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (Sportsnet ONE / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
16:30 5th-place game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Sunday, March 15
10:00 Bronze (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
13:00 Final (Sportsnet 360 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
All times EST
* The webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis.