#1/LW #1 Carleton (20-0, 14-0, Last 10: 10-0, Streak: Won 20)… Two dominant efforts at Windsor and Western this past weekend as 6’10” Eddie Ekiyor continues to improve at both ends. 6’4″ Connor Wood is a Moser Award candidate. Ravens get set for Capital Hoops Classic this coming Friday night against Ottawa Gee-Gees. Odds on favorite to finish first in OUA RPI and be in a position to host the Wilson Cup Final 4 during the first weekend in March.
#2 UBC/LW #2 (21-1, 15-1, Last 10: 9-1, Streak: Won 7)… T-Birds had another pair of dominant efforts against Brandon this weekend. Expect UBC to roll through their final 4 games. However, given the imbalanced Canada West schedule (and thanks to Martin Timmerman’s RPI tool) and UBC’s relatively weaker overall slate, there are virtually no remaining scenarios that would have the Thunderbirds finish first in Canada West RPI. Thus, despite what is likely to be a one-loss season, UBC will, assuming a first-round playoff victory, most likely play the Canada West Final 4 on the road away from War Memorial Gym.
#3 Ottawa/LW #3 (22-2, 13-1, Last 10: 9-1, Streak: Won 4)… Coach James Derouin altered his starting lineup for this weekend’s games, inserting 6’4″ Brandon Robinson and bringing 6’7″ Brody Maracle off the bench in an effort to go a bit smaller and faster defensively. Gee-Gees got off to a great start defensively at Western as a result and hope this tweak is helpful in time for Friday’s Capital Hoops Classic.
#4 Calgary/LW #5 (17-4, 12-4, Last 10: 7-3, Streak: Lost 1)… Positions 4 through 7 were difficult to seed, especially after Dinos lost their first road game of the season on Saturday, blowing a 20 point lead at Regina. Dinos could get tested in Kamloops this weekend against Thompson Rivers, although WolfPack, with an already relatively thin rotation, will be without minutes-eating point guard Jeff Tubbs. Calgary has a very real opportunity for #1 seed in Canada West RPI.
#5 Brock/LW #7 (15-5, 10-4, Last 10: 6-4, Streak: Won 5)… Badgers move up two spots after their impressive win at the Meridian Center over then-#4 Ryerson – notably Brock’s second victory of the season over the Rams – and the main reason why we are ranking Badgers ahead of Rye. Badgers are hitting their stride and have now won 5 in a row including their dramatic comeback at Lakehead which started this roll. Brock has three consecutive home games coming up against Waterloo, Laurier and Algoma and appeared poised to finish in the top 4 of OUA RPI.
#6 Ryerson/LW #4 (15-3, 13-1, Last 10: 9-1, Streak: Lost 1)… A drop of two spots is frankly harsh here; still, Rams inside game was exposed on Friday night against Brock which soundly won the battle on the glass, held Rye’s transition game in check and watched normally strong shooting Ryerson shoot just 7 for 37 from beyond the arc. Rams have 3 games against division rivals before a two-game set in the Nation’s Capital against Carleton and Ottawa that will likley determine final OUA RPI ranking.
#7 Alberta/LW #6 (17-7, 12-4, Last 10: 6-4, Streak: Won 1)… Golden Bears have hung in very well despite having by far the toughest schedule of any contender in Canada West which, despite 4 league losses, still keeps Alberta in the hunt to finish atop the Canada West RPI rankings. Bears will need to win at least one at Saskatchewan this weekend and then likely sweep Lethbridge at home next weekend to do so. Still, Alberta is virtually assured of Top 4 seeding and a first-round bye.
#8 McGill/LW #8 (13-5, 7-3, Last 10: 7-3, Streak: Won 1)... Idle this past weekend, Redmen can clinch a RSEQ playoff spot this weekend with a sweep over Bishop’s. 6’1″ point guard Kendrick Jolin is back from a strained calf injury while 6’8″ Noah Daoust is still questionable after an elbow injury. McGill remains inconsistent offensively however has defended as well as anytime all season over the past 2-3 weeks.
#9 Saskatchewan/LW #9 (15-6, 11-5, Last 10: 7-3, Streak: Won 3)… Huskies continue to show they are probably the improved team in the nation since the Holidays with two wins over a talented Mount Royal team that pushed them in game two. Saskatchewan also has a chance to host the Canada West Final 4 based on RPI and with a pair of home wins this weekend against Alberta would move closer to realizing that, something which seemed impossible before Christmas.
#10 Saint Mary’s/LW #10 (18-7, 10-5, Last 10: 7-3, Streak: Won 5)… AUS Huskies continue to fly under most observer’s radar but this is a veteran group with a solid point guard in 5’9″ Marquis Clayton and explosive 6’6″ Theon Reefer among others. Two important road wins at UNB and UPEI have coach Jonah Taussig’s team thinking first-round bye in the AUS tournament. As previously mentioned, SMU is 3-1 vs. Halifax rival Dal Tigers this season. SMU will go as far as their defense and rebounding takes them, elements that have been adequate in many portions of the AUS season.