The UBC Okanagan basketball teams are no longer the new kids on the block in the Canada West conference this year, as the 2012-13 basketball schedules have been released with the conference moving to a 22-game, 16-team schedule.
To reach 16 teams the Canada West basketball conference will welcome its newest members, the Mount Royal University Cougars out of Calgary and the University of Northern BC Timberwolves from Prince George. This will bring the total number of basketball schools in Canada West to 16 as both squads will join the Heat in the Pacific division, giving Canada West two divisions of eight teams, the other division being the Prairie.
The two new schools will likely become instant rivals with the Heat as both are former CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) foes and will be vying with UBC Okanagan for one of four guaranteed playoff berths awarded to the Pacific division. The other five members of the division are: UBC, University of Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, Trinity Western University, and University of Victoria.
The UBC Okanagan basketball teams open their league schedule on the road Friday and Saturday November 2-3 in the provincial capital as the team makes its first trip to Vancouver Island to play the University of Victoria Vikings.
The team’s home opener will take place the following weekend (Nov. 9-10) as UBC Okanagan will host one of the two newcomers in the Mount Royal Cougars – all UBC Okanagan Canada West home games will go Friday nights at 6 p.m. (Women’s) and 8 p.m. (Men’s), and then an hour earlier on Saturday with tip-off set for 5 p.m.(W) and 7 p.m. (M).
The rest of the first semester will have the Heat hosting just one more time with single games against Brandon University and the Regina Cougars as those schools come to town November 23-24 respectively. The Heat hoopsters will be on the road for four more games in 2012 as a second Pacific division matchup against the other Canada West newcomer, the UNBC Timberwolves, will take place in Prince George November 16-17. The last weekend before the break, December 1-2, will have the Heat in Winnipeg playing the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg; the last two games of 2012 will take place Saturday and Sunday with early games at 11 a.m. (W), and 1 p.m. (M) both days.
The 2013 Canada West schedule will get underway when the Heat and the WolfPack play the first game of the new year in Kamloops, Saturday Jan. 5, after which the Heat will play host three of the next four weekends; playing at home in order: University of Calgary-University of Lethbridge (Jan. 11-12), UBC (Jan. 25-26), and Fraser Valley (Feb. 1-2). The must see event of this semi-homestand of course is the UBC versus UBC matchup at the end of January, the first time ever the Thunderbird basketball squad will play on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The second half has the Heat only on the road two weekends: the trip to the University of Saskatchewan and University of Alberta January 18-19 for one game versus each school, and a trip to Langley for a double-header versus the Trinity Western Spartans Feb. (8-9).
The team will end its conference schedule hosting the WolfPack Saturday February 16.
Basketball playoffs begin February 22 with four quarter-final divisional cross over series. The highest-seeded winners of the quarter-finals will host the Canada West Final Four on March 1-2. The women’s CIS Round 1 is March 8-10, the same weekend as the men’s CIS Final 8 hosted by Carleton University in Ottawa. The women’s Final 8 tournament is March 15-17 in Regina.
For more info on schedules and gametime please visit www.goheat.ca.
All Canada West basketball games, as well as livestats, can be viewed online at www.canadawest.tv.