Canada West Universities Athletic Association has approved a change

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LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Canada West Universities Athletic Association has approved a change to its men’s and women’s basketball format, following the conference’s annual general meeting held last week in Brandon, Manitoba.

Beginning with the 2016-17 season, the 17 Canada West basketball schools will play in a single conference, featuring a 20-game regular season schedule. Each team will play four geographical, or historical opponents every year, with games against six of the remaining 12 opponents every other year. Over a four-year rotation in the schedule, each team will play every team in the conference at least twice, and will visit every gym in Canada West at least once.

The revamped format will see Trinity Western’s men’s and women’s basketball teams play UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC and Victoria every year, while playing the other 12 opponents every second season.

Also approved was the accompanying playoff format, which will see the top 12 teams playing a bracketed postseason structure over a three-week period. The top four teams will receive a bye in the first week of the playoffs, which will feature four best-of-three series. The following week will consist of four best-of-three quarterfinals, leading to the final four hosted by the highest remaining seed.

“The majority of members wanted a different format, so we spent six months going through a lot of options for schedules,” Canada West President Ian Reade said. “We were able to go through a collective problem solving process to get to a format, and come together on this one.”

“This allows us to guarantee that traditional and geographic opponents will have the opportunity to play each other annually, while eliminating the perception of having two tiers within the conference.”

The 2015-16 season will be played under the existing two-division format, with the 11-team Pioneer Division (Alberta, Brandon, UBC, Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, Regina, Saskatchewan, Trinity Western, Victoria, Winnipeg), and six-team Explorer Division (UBC Okanagan, UFV, MacEwan, Mount Royal, UNBC, Thompson Rivers), playing a 20-game regular season with no interlock between divisions.

2016-17 Canada West Basketball

ANNUAL OPPONENTS BY SCHOOL

Alberta – Calgary, Lethbridge, MacEwan, Saskatchewan

Brandon – Regina, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Winnipeg

UBC – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Trinity Western, Victoria

UBC-Okanagan – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Victoria

Calgary – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Saskatchewan

Fraser Valley – UBC-Okanagan, UNBC, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western

Lethbridge – Alberta, Calgary, MacEwan, Mount Royal

MacEwan – Alberta, Lethbridge, Mount Royal, Winnipeg

Manitoba – Brandon, Mount Royal, Regina, Winnipeg

Mount Royal – Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, MacEwan

UNBC – UBC, Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western

Regina – Brandon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg

Saskatchewan – Alberta, Brandon, Calgary, Regina

Thompson Rivers – UBC-Okanagan, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria

Trinity Western – UBC, Fraser Valley, UNBC, Victoria

Victoria – UBC, UBC-Okanagan, Thompson Rivers, Trinity Western

Winnipeg – Brandon, MacEwan, Manitoba, Regina

2016-17 PLAYOFF FORMAT

First Round

• Teams finishing 1st-4th in the regular season will receive a bye

• Four best-of-three series:

12 @ 5

11 @ 6

10 @ 7

9 @ 8

Quarterfinals

• Four best-of-three series, hosted by the top four teams:

5/12 @ 4

6/11 @ 3

7/10 @ 2

8/9 @ 1

Final Four

• Single-elimination tournament, hosted by the highest remaining seed

• Semi-finals:

6/11 @ 3 winner vs 7/10 @ 2 winner

5/12 @ 4 winner vs 8/9 @ 1 winner

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