Canada West basketball schedules have been released, and the Heat have eyes on a long run in 2015-16.
UBC Okanagan Heat basketball will get their second run in the revamped Canada West league structure for the upcoming 2015-16 season, once again loaded and hungry for their first postseason appearance.
This will be the fifth-year of CIS competition for the Heat, and now the second and also final season with the separate Pioneer and Explorer divisions in Canada West, with the Heat still a member of the latter. The men and women donned in blue and gold, no longer new to the landscape of the league, are eager to climb a hill of challenges in 2015-16, post a winning record and make a name in the postseason.
The slate in the Explorer’s division is unchanged this season, with the Fraser Valley Cascades, Thompson Rivers WolfPack, and UNBC Timberwolves joining UBC Okanagan to represent British Columbia, while the Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary and the MacEwan Griffins in Edmonton continue to hold up the front for Alberta.
There is no interdivisional play between divisions, and each Explorer contender will compete against each other four times.
Once again, the top three from the Explorer’s division will advance to the Canada West playoffs in a cross-matchup format with the qualifiers from the Pioneer division.
The Heat start the season off on the road against Explorer Division powerhouse Fraser Valley November 6-7, who the blue and gold could not crack last year. The men’s team roared to a 17-3 finish atop the division, while the women’s squad went 12-8, good for the third seed. A couple of wins opening weekend against the Cascades would get UBC Okanagan off to a momentous start.
UBC Okanagan returns to Kelowna to kick off the home series against UNBC November 13-14. A growing rivalry from season to season as both teams are old foes from their CCAA and PACWEST days, expect mid-November to still be hot with action.
Mount Royal comes to town to conclude a four-game home stand for the Heat on November 20-21. The Cougars, like the Heat, were on the outside looking in to the playoffs last year, and this pair of hungry teams promise an electric affair as both the men’s and women’s sides split the weekend in the Okanagan last year.
Sending the Heat out into the end of semester will be the MacEwan Griffins, now in their second year of Canada West play, on November 27-28.
The first week back from winter break will also be the closing of the first half of the season, and there are few teams better than valley rival Thompson Rivers for ringing in the New Year with. This clash of interior opponents is a highlight of the calendar for both campuses, and brings droves of fans from both communities for the weekend. The Heat have the first right to host on January 8-9.
UBC Okanagan will dazzle their home fans for the last time in the regular season February 12-13 when they host MacEwan to conclude their series.
The grand conclusion of the 2015-16 slate will see the Heat will close out their regular season in Kamloops with the WolfPack February 19-20. These dates might be the most important to circle, as both TRU squads made it into the postseason last year, but this time around a recharged and reloaded Heat team might be battling out a tight race for the final spots, with everything coming down to this final weekend.
The top three from the Explorers and the top seven from the Pioneers will move on to the postseason.
The first round of the Canada West playoffs is a play-in round, featuring one bracket of the Pioneer sixth-seed at the Explorer third-seed, and another bracket featuring the Pioneer seventh-seed at the Pioneer fifth-seed. The play-in round is scheduled for February 26-28.
The Canada West Quarter-Finals will follow, with a cross-division format featuring best-of-three series happening March 4-6.
Finally, the Canada West Final Four will take place March 11-12, with the CIS Final 8 the following weekend March 18-20. The men’s nationals will be hosted by UBC while the women’s be at UNB on the east coast.
For more info on schedules and up to date game times please visit www.goheat.ca.
All Canada West basketball games, as well as livestats, can be viewed online at www.canadawest.tv.
Canada West Media Release: http://canadawest.org/cwest/2015-16/releases/20150629bballsched
Heat Home Basketball Schedule:
|Fri Nov 13||UNBC||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Nov 14||UNBC||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Nov 20||Mount Royal||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Nov 21||Mount Royal||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Jan 8||Thompson Rivers||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Jan 9||Thompson Rivers||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Feb 5||Fraser Valley||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Feb 6||Fraser Valley||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Feb 12||MacEwan||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Feb 13||MacEwan||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|