The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams will be competing under a new schedule format when the Canada West regular season tips off in November.
The Canada West conference’s 2016-17 basketball schedules, released Thursday, no longer feature the Pioneer and Explorer Divisions. That alignment, which had been in effect the past two seasons, saw the Cascades play their entire regular-season schedules against five opponents in the Explorer Division.
The 17 Canada West basketball schools will now play in a single conference, featuring a 20-game regular season. Each team will play four geographical/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.
The Cascades’ slate of geographical/historical foes is comprised of a quartet of B.C. teams. UFV will play Trinity Western, Thompson Rivers, UBC Okanagan and UNBC on an annual basis.
The Cascades begin their 2016-17 Canada West campaign in marquee fashion at home, as they welcome the Saskatchewan Huskies to the Envision Athletic Centre on opening weekend (Nov. 4-5). The Huskies women’s team are the defending Canada West and CIS national champions.
The following weekend, UFV takes on its local rival, the Trinity Western Spartans, in a home-and-home series. The Cascades play host on Friday, Nov. 11, and visit the Langley Events Centre on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Other home opponents for UFV include the UNBC Timberwolves (Nov. 25-26), MacEwan Griffins (Jan. 6-7), Thompson Rivers WolfPack (Jan. 27-28) and Victoria Vikes (Feb. 3-4).
The Cascades’ schedule also includes road trips to play the Brandon Bobcats (Dec. 2-3), Calgary Dinos (Jan. 12-13), Alberta Golden Bears/Pandas (Jan. 20-21) and UBC Okanagan Heat (Feb. 10-11).
UFV’s complete regular season basketball schedules can be accessed at the following links.
The Canada West playoffs will feature the top 12 teams playing a bracketed 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 quarter-finals, 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 – the CIS men’s Final Eight returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012, and the University of Victoria welcomes the best women’s teams in the nation.
Once again this season, fans can see every men’s and women’s basketball game live and on-demand at Canadawest.tv – the official streaming home of Canada West. 2016-17 Canadawest.tv passes will go on sale Aug. 22, with early bird pricing available on both multi-sport and single sport passes available until Sept. 9.
– with files from Evan Daum, Canada West