By Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
NEW WESTMINSTER – Canada West basketball returns to the court Friday, November 4 with a new format, as the conference’s men’s and women’s schedules were released Thursday.
The Vikes women’s team will host the CIS Final 8 from March 9-12 while the men’s team will look to secure their first post-season game at CARSA along with a lengthy playoff run.
Last year, the Vikes women made it to the Canada West quarterfinals while the men dropped six of their last eight games to miss out on the playoffs. Bolstered by strong recruiting classes, both teams will be looking to make a mark this season.
Looking to defend their conference crowns from a year ago will be the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who claimed Canada West women’s gold to go along with CIS gold in 2015-16, and the University of Calgary Dinos, who claimed their first conference men’s title since 2009 last season.
Saskatchewan opens their campaign on the road with a weekend series against the Fraser Valley Cascades, while Calgary tips things off in the Stampede City against the Manitoba Bisons.
2016-17 marks a new format for Canada West basketball, with the existing Pioneer and Explorer Divisions no longer in effect.
The 17 Canada West basketball schools will now 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.
2016-17 playoffs will feature the top 12 teams playing a bracketed post-season 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.
Playoff seeding will be determined by a rating percentage index (RPI), which will be calculated using a combination of winning percentage, opponents’ winning percentage, and opponents’ opponents’ average winning percentage. The conference RPI will be published on a weekly basis following the conference’s December break.
The season culminates March 9-12, as the CIS men’s Final Eight returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012, while the University of Victoria welcomes the best women’s teams in the nation to the school’s beautiful $77-million athletic facility, CARSA.
Once again this season you can see every men’s and women’s basketball game live and on-demand by heading to Canadawest.tv – the official streaming home of Canada West. 2016-17 Canadawest.tv passes will go on sale August 22, with early bird pricing available on both multi-sport and single sport passes available until September 9.