By virtue of UQAM’s 81-76 win at home on Saturday night over Laval, the RSEQ Final 4 is set: Citadins have clinched at least third place, relegating the Rouge et Or to a fourth-place finish. Even if Laval defeats Bishop’s at home next weekend and UQAM loses both of their final games (vs. Concordia, at McGill), Citadins own the tie-breaker between the two teams. Previously, McGill clinched first place and UQAM cannot catch Concordia for second (see more below).
As we shared yesterday, Laval had already clinched a playoff spot by virtue of Redmen’s win at home over Bishop’s. Thus, the RSEQ Final 4 – to be played a week from this coming Friday and Saturday (March 11th and 12th) at McGill is set:
Laval at McGill
Concordia vs. UQAM.
While McGill, first-place finishers, playing at home and being a Top 10 team all season long, should be the “first-glance” favorite against Laval, a closer look reveals that Rouge et Or gave the Redmen major difficulties all season long. While McGill took 3 of the 4 games played between the two teams, Laval hammered the Redmen by 20+ in January and led by 23 late in the third quarter of their second meeting in Ste. Foy before McGill staged an unlikely comeback. Unlikely because Laval’s Big 3 of 6’6″ Alexandre Leclerc, 6’5″ Thibault Dezutter and 6’0″ Karl Demers-Belanger have been having their way with the Redmen, breaking down defenders off the dribble and knocking down shots. And with the post-Christmas additions of 6’0″ Vladimir Thomas and 6’5″ Frantson Demosthene, Laval has even more quality depth to match McGill, which was touted to have the strongest bench in the conference.
Before 6’8″ Noah Daoust awoke the Redmen last weekend at Laval, McGill looked like a defeated team, outclassed by the more athletic and stronger Rouge et Or. Laval simply matches up very well with McGill and if there is to be an upset in the RSEQ tournament, look to that game a week from Friday night as the potential to disrupt the “Q”.
Concordia and UQAM face off in the other semi-final and the Stingers are 3-0 against their cross-town rivals with a meaningless meeting this Thursday night at UQAM in the wings before the two athletic teams get going for keeps a week from Friday at McGill.