EDMONTON – Canada West hoops action will be back in session Friday, October 27, as the 2017-18 CW men’s and women’s basketball schedules were unveiled Thursday, along with changes to the ratings percentage index (RPI) formula. The University of Victoria Vikes begin their U SPORTS campaign hosting the UBC Okanagan Head on Oct. 27-28 in the CARSA Performance Gym.
For the second consecutive season, ratings performance index (RPI) will be used to seed playoff teams, while win/loss records will again be used to determine playoff qualification. The CW RPI was implemented last season to account for varying strengths of schedules, resulting from the conference’s unbalanced schedule.
While RPI remains, the formula used to calculate it doesn’t. Alterations have been made to the RPI formula, following review by Canada West’s sport committee. The new formula, listed below, has been amended to both increase the value of a team’s win/loss record, while reducing the value assigned for away wins and increasing the value for home wins.
In addition to the altered RPI formula, a new playoff format is also coming to CW basketball this season, as the conference eliminated the CW Final Four tournament in favour of a one-game championship hosted by the highest remaining seed.
The number of playoff teams (12) has not changed from last season. The first round of conference playoffs will see the top four seeds earn byes, while the remaining eight teams will play single-elimination games (12 @ 5, 11 @ 6, 10 @ 7, and 9 @ 8) between February 8 and 11.
The conference quarter-finals (best-of-threes) are set for February 15-18, the CW semis (best-of-three) February 22-25, and finally the CW Finals (and bronze medal games if necessary to determine national tournament berths) March 2 or 3.
U SPORTS nationals are slated for March 8-11, with the women’s event being held by Regina – for the fourth time in school history – while the men’s event returns to Halifax again for a second consecutive year.
Fans will have access to every conference game on the road to nationals this season on Canada West TV – the conference’s official streaming platform – as every men’s and women’s conference regular season and playoff game will be streamed in 2017-18.
A full list of package options will be available mid-August, when the conference unveils its new streaming platform, as part of the conference’s rebrand.
New RPI formula
The formula used in 2016-17 was as follows:
RPI = 25% team winning percentage (WP) x 1.2 away win + 0.8 home win, 50% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP).
The formula that will be used in 2017-18, with changes in bold, is as follows:
RPI = 35% team winning percentage (WP) x 1.1 away win + 0.9 home win, 40% opponents’ average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents’ opponent’s average winning percentage (OOWP).