Abbotsford (Dan Kinvig/Evan Daum / Canada West) The 2019-20 Canada West basketball schedule has been unveiled, and the University of the Fraser Valley men’s and women’s teams are set to tip off on Nov. 1.
The Cascades will hit the road for their conference opener, visiting the Winnipeg Wesmen for a two-game series Nov. 1-2. Following a Week 2 bye, the UFV squads host their home openers Nov. 15-16, welcoming the UBC Okanagan Heat to the Envision Financial Athletic Centre (EFAC).
Other key schedule details:
• The Cascades’ first two road trips will be their longest of the season – both take them to Winnipeg. After opening vs. the Wesmen, they return to the Manitoba capital to face the Manitoba Bisons, Nov. 29-30.
• The Cascades host nine home games while playing 11 on the road. That’s due to the fact that UFV and local rival Trinity Western choose to play their annual two-game series in a home-and-home format, rather than one program hosting both game nights in alternating years. (The Cascades had 11 games at home and nine on the road in 2018-19).
• The always-anticipated UFV-TWU derby is slated for Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Langley Events Centre, and Saturday, Jan. 18 at the EFAC.
• For the first time in six seasons, the Cascades will host the UBC Thunderbirds in CW regular-season action. The last time that match-up occurred in conference play was Nov. 29-30, 2013, with the UFV men’s and women’s teams combining to win three of the four games that weekend. This year’s clash between the Cascades and T-Birds is set for Jan. 3-4, and will mark a rematch of last season’s hard-fought CW men’s quarter-final playoff series which saw UBC prevail 2-1 in the best-of-three.
• The Cascades wrap up the regular season Feb. 7-8 at home vs. the Regina Cougars, and the Canada West playoffs open the following week. The CW playoff format has been adjusted for 2019-20; see below for additional details.
• All conference games will be webcast at CanadaWest.tv, and 2019-20 passes are now on sale with early-bird pricing available.
PLAYOFF FORMAT CHANGE
The first round of the conference playoffs remain unchanged, and will once again feature single-elimination games between the No. 5 through 12 seeds, with the top four seeds earning a bye (seeding determined by RPI). The teams advancing from the play-in round will be reseeded 5-8 ahead of the revamped quarter-finals.
Both the quarter-final and semifinal rounds have been compressed, both in terms of the number of games and weeks. Instead of best-of-three quarters and semis, both rounds will now be single-elimination games, being played the same weekend. The top two seeds will host each side of the draw, with the winners eventually meeting the following weekend in the Canada West Championship game.
The changes were formally approved earlier this year after CW membership indicated a desire to condense the playoffs to three weeks.