Championships Men’s Final 8

For the second straight year, the Ryerson Rams enter the 2017 ArcelorMittal Dofasco U SPORTS Final 8 as tournament favourites, while the Carleton Ravens have earned the No.1 seed in the Women’s Final 8 Basketball Championship.

The seedings were announced Monday for the Final 8 tournaments – the men’s event hosted by Dalhousie Tigers for the first time since 1987, and the women’s tournament at the University of Victoria for the first time since 1993. The national tournaments get under way Thursday at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S. and the CARSA Performance Gym, culminating next Sunday, with the men’s final at 2:00 p.m. Atlantic Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern) and the women’s championship at 1:00 p.m. Pacific (4:00 p.m. Eastern), live on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now. Saturday’s semifinals will also be broadcast live on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now (Men’s: 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. Atlantic, Women’s: 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. Pacific).

All 22 games from both competitions will be webcast on U SPORTS TV, with details announced on later in the week. 

Looking for their first W.P. McGee Trophy title, the OUA champion Rams are joined in Halifax by the No. 2 and reigning six-time national titlist Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists), No. 3 McGill Redmen (RSEQ champions), No. 4 Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champs), No. 5 Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champions/hosts), No. 6 Manitoba Bisons (Canada West finalists), No. 7 Calgary Dinos (Canada West bronze medalists/At-large berth) and No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS finalists). 

Thursday’s quarter-final matchups include Carleton vs. Calgary in the 12 p.m. AT opener, followed by McGill vs. Manitoba at 2 p.m. AT, Ryerson vs. Saint Mary’s at 6 p.m. AT, as well as host Dalhousie vs. Alberta in the 8 p.m., AT nightcap.

A year after claiming a second straight U SPORTS bronze medal, the Rams earned No. 1 status in the men’s tournament thanks to a 86-79 win over Carleton in Saturday’s Wilson Cup final at the Ravens’ nest, winning back-to-back OUA titles.

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On the women’s side, the Ravens (OUA Champions) are joined in Victoria by the No. 2 Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champs), No. 3 Queen’s Gaels (OUA finalists), No. 4 McGill Martlets (RSEQ champs), No. 5 Regina Cougars (Canada West finalists), No. 6 Cape Breton Capers (AUS champs), No. 7 Laval Rouge et Or (At-large berth) and No. 8 Victoria Vikes (hosts). 

The women’s matchups on Thursday include Queen’s vs. Cape Breton  in the 12 p.m. PT opener, followed by Saskatchewan vs. Laval at 2 p.m. PT, McGill vs. Regina at 6 p.m. PT and host Victoria vs. Carleton at 8 p.m. PT. 

The Ravens women are tournament favourites after winning their first OUA Critelli Cup in program history via a 49-41 victory over host Queen’s. Carleton went 21-1 between the regular season and playoffs, running the table after losing its opening game of the year. 

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Calgary and Laval received the at-large berth (wild card) following a vote by a committee of U SPORTS coaches. The Dinos, who won the Canada West bronze medal, had a 16-4 regular season record and were nationally-ranked throughout the season, peaking at No.2  in the first poll of the campaign. The Rouge et Or, who went 14-2 in conference play, were also ranked in all 14 Top 10 polls, including five straight weeks at No.1. 

NOTES: Complete championship previews will follow on Tuesday...The 2017 U SPORTS All-Canadian Awards galas are set for Wednesday evening.