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2011 CIS Basketball Final 8: Which conference will dominate?

Which conference will dominate the 2011 CIS basketball Final 8 in Halifax? Who has the strongest conference in the country? Canada West, OUA, AUS or Quebec?

Off the bat we can eliminate Quebec, simply because of the number of teams that compete within the conference. The talent level of the conference is unmatched. Quebec Basketball is ranked behind Toronto and maybe VanCity as the basketball factory of Canada. For those counting the RSEQ conference has won two Final 8 championship banners courtesy of the Bishop Gaiters in 97-98 and Concordia Stingers in 89-90.

Were left with the following conferences OUA, AUS or Canada West?

The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference hasn’t won a championship since the St. Francis X-Men won back-to-back Final 8 ‘ships in 00-01, 01-02. The St. Mary’s Huskies also got on the bandwagon earning the trophy in ’99-00 giving the AUS a three-year grip on the much coveted banner and trophy. The AUS also dominated CIS basketball between ‘76-79 when the Acadia Axemen and St.Mary Huskies back-to-back titles earned the conference much deserved praise. Overall the conference has culminated a total of 10 CIS Basketball Men’s trophies. The Huskies lead the way with 4 rings followed by the X-Men and Axemen with three.

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The OUA (Ontario University Association) can definitely make a case for the best conference in the country; the Carleton Ravens recent domination certainly helped Ontario University Basketball take flight. The Brock Badgers also brought home their second school banner in 2007-08. Overall the OUA has a total of 14 titles including 7 of the last 10 CIS Final 8 championships. Prior to the Ravens stranglehold, the last time the OUA had won back-to-back championships was in ’90-91 Western Mustangs and 91-92 Brock Badgers. The conference has a total of 16 trophies with the Ravens on top with 6, Windsor Lancers with 4 and the Brock Badgers with 2.

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The Canada West conference, winner of the ‘09-10 trophy boasts a strong and deep history of Final 8 hardware. The conference dominated the league for 10 straight years (1979-1989). The Victoria Vikes hold the longest winning streak when they managed to win seven straight Final 8 Championships. That was followed by the Brandon Bobcats and their own sweet three-peat.
Overall Canada West has won a record 20 CIS Men’s Basketball Championships. The Vikes lead the way with a total of 8 championships followed by the Bobcats 4, Alberta Golden Bears 3, and the UBC Thunderbirds with 2.

Given the following breakdown, and if we were to rank conferences based on championships alone, the ranking would go like this,Canada West, OUA, AUS and RSQE.

Championship banners shouldn’t be the only metric to determine the equation. One should consider the amount of teams awarded spots at the Final 8 Nationals.

Canada West has three teams representing their conference and have the best shot at claiming yet another banner. The OUA will be at it again with Ravens looking to continue their storied success at the Metro Centre.

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Who has the best conference in the CIS?

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