The UBC Okanagan Heat basketball teams will begin their first go round in the restructured Canada West conference when the 2016-17 season tips off on November 4. Both the men's and women's sides will be working to make their first postseason appearance since joining the conference.
The two year's of Canada West having two non-interlocking divisions is over and now the Heat will be in a new single conference format with a revised playoff structure.
The schools will now play in a 20-game regular season schedule. Each team will play four geographical, or 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.
Heat will say goodbye to the Explorer Division, where last season both the men's and the women's missed the playoffs, by just one spot for the women (4th; 10-10) and two for the men (5th; 8-12).
The 20 games will run every weekend between November 4 and February 11, with the winter break stretching from December 3 until January 6.
The Heat start their 2016-17 season at home, when Trinity Western come to UBC Okanagan on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5. Last season the Heat didn't face TWU, whose men's team (1-19) finished their 2015-16 campaign at the bottom of the Pioneer Division and whose women's team (8-12) earned the final playoff berth before falling 2-1 in their best-of-3 play-in series against Victoria.
UBC Okanagan's first games on the road will be the second weekend of the season against another opponent not faced last season, when they travel to Brandon, Manitoba for two games on November 11-12.
The season's third weekend will see the Heat at home again, tipping off against a familiar opponent for the first time on the campaign when they host Mount Royal on November 18-19.
Another familiar opponent comes the following weekend, when the Heat travel to Kamloops to play two games against their interior rivals at Thompson Rivers on November 25-26. The Heat will then close out the first part of their season on the road, resuming their rivalry against sister-school, UBC in Vancouver, on December 2-3.
After the winter break UBC Okanagan won't have to travel until after their bye week. They will host the University of Regina, another team unseen last season, to get the season back underway on January 6-7 before Victoria visits the Okanagan on January 13-14. Only the Heat men played against Victoria last season, in a non-Conference exhibition match that UVic won, 80-70.
After their bye week (Week 8; Jan. 20-21), the Heat will play a four-game road trip, travelling to Lethbridge for January 27-28, then to MacEwan in Edmonton, against whom the Heat basketball collectively finished 1-7 last season, for a shot at redemption on February 3-4.
Week 11, the last of the 2016-17 campaign, will have the Heat hosting the University of the Fraser Valley. For the men, that final weekend will present the opportunity to continue a winning streak against UFV that began in the teams' final meeting last season. For the women's side, though, the matchup could mean potentially more. The Heat women, in tipping off against UFV, will have a shot to take the final game of the season from the team that began the seven-game losing streak that closed out the season, and dropped the UBC Okanagan women out of playoff contention.
2016-17 playoffs will feature the top 12 teams based on win/loss record, playing a bracketed post-season 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 quarterfinals, 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, as the CIS men’s Final Eight returns to Halifax for the first time since 2012, while the University of Victoria welcomes the best women’s teams in the nation to the school’s beautiful $77-million athletic facility, CARSA.
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://www.canadawest.org/cwest/2016-17/releases/20160623basketballsched
Heat Home Basketball Schedule:
|Fri Nov 4||Trinity Western||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Nov 5||Trinity Western||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Nov 18||Mount Royal||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Nov 19||Mount Royal||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Jan 6||Regina||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Jan 7||Regina||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Jan 13||Victoria||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Jan 14||Victoria||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|
|Fri Feb 10||Fraser Valley||6pm (W) 8pm (M)|
|Sat Feb 11||Fraser Valley||5pm (W) 7pm (M)|