Monday, 3 March 2008

Looking forward to this week

The next two weeks are arguably the most exciting in the basketball season as three more league championships will be decided (AUS, QSSF, OUA) and the remaining four slots at the CIS Nationals will be determined by late on Sunday evening. This week's action starts in Halifax at the Metro Center on Friday evening as the AUS quarter-finals take place with Dalhousie tipping off agains Cape Breton and Saint Mary's meeting UPEI. CISHOOPS.CA is very fortunate to have Chris Kallan, veteran journalist most recently with the Halifax Daily News, as our AUS tournament correspondent and we look forward to Chris's always-tremendous coverage of the great Atlantic event, beginning with a tournament preview later this week and then complete coverage of all games through the weekend. Also on Friday night, the Quebec league championship goes in Ste. Foy between regular season pennant winners Laval Rouge et Or and defending "Q" league champions Concordia Stingers. We hope to preview that affair and then have post-game comments and game report on Friday night. Saturday afternoon, another spot at the Nationals will be handed out as Ottawa Gee-Gees visit St. Catharines to meet Brock Badgers at 2 PM. The teams have met twice before this season with Ottawa winning the first at the Jack Donohue Memorial tournament when 6'3" Donnie Gibson hit a buzzer-beating shot on an afternoon when Brock was without star 5'10" guard Brad Rootes. The Badgers rode a solid second half and excellent defense by soon-to-be-named OUA West Defensive Player-of-the-Year 6'3" Mike Kemp on soon-to-be-named OUA East 1st Team All-Star 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe to a victory in their league meeting in St. Catharines, which knocked the Gee-Gees from the ranks of the undefeated just before the 1st term holiday break. The Wilson Cup, emblematic of the OUA championship, goes Saturday night in Ottawa between the upstart Western Mustangs and the host, unbeatean Carleton Ravens. The weekend action culminates with the AUS semi-finals on Saturday night from the Halifax Metro Center and then the AUS championship game on Sunday afternoon in front of what is expected to be one of the largest crowds in recent memory in Halifax. Finally, after the AUS tournament, a committee will convene on a conference call to go through the wild card candidates and finally select the 8th and final team to be invited via an at-large bid to the CIS Nationals. The same call will determine the seedings for the Final 8 which begin one week from this coming Friday at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. This is the time of year CIS fans wait all season for; enjoy the games!

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