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Road To Final 8: Early look 2013 CIS Men’s National championships

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The 2013 CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 Championship is pretty much set, the only thing remaining to find out is who will be the AUS Champion, the wild card and the final seedings.

We strong believe the wild card will go to the runner-up of the AUS, thus completing the “Final 8” teams.

The Carleton Ravens will have the top seed when they are announced late Sunday. Below is a list of all the teams that have qualified.

1. Carleton Ravens – (OUA Champions)
As expected the Ravens have secured the top seed in the 2013 CIS Men’s Basketball National Championship and are riding a 22-game winning streak. Who they will play is still yet to be determined, the most likely opponent would be the Victoria Vikes. If this does happen consider it the passing of the torch, The Ravens and the Vikes are tied for the most national basketball championships with eight.

Cape Breton Capers – (AUS)
Like many we believe that regardless of the outcome of the 2013 AUS Championships that both teams will advance, not matter what scenario, even if they do go down in the finals of the Atlantic conference, the Capers would likely earn the wildcard and the same can be said for the Acadia Axemen. The Capers only loss in the regular season came at the hands of the Acadia so a lot to be determined.

Mcgill Redmen – (RSEQ Champions)
Guess who’s coming back to town? Former Gee-Gees head coach David Deaveiro has managed to turn the Redmen into a Final 8 team in just three years. Mcgill rallied from a huge 15-point first-half deficit to crush the hearts of Bishop Gaiters fans and advance to their first national championship in 1979.

Must Read:  Ottawa Gee-Gees awarded No. 1 seed at 2014 CIS Final 8 for the first time in school history

UBC Thunderbirds – (CanWest)
Could this FINALLY be the year for the Thunderbirds. It feels like we have been saying that for the last 10 years. The Thunderbirds return to Ottawa and will be looking to earn their third CIS Men’s Basketball championship.

Victoria Vikes – (CanWest)
The Vikes return to the big dance and based on their play this season anything can happen. Well balanced team with strong guards and good size upfront. Craig Beaucamp is familiar with the nations capital surroundings and you can expect his team to compete even if they get the Ravens in the opening round.

Acadia Axemen – (AUS)
All the pieces are in place for the Axemen to be considered a serious threat regardless of their seeding. They are healthy, playing good defense and are as deep as anybody in the country. A showdown with the Capers awaits, another win will most certainly silence any talk of an 8th seed.

Lakehead Thunderwolves -(OUA At Large)
You have to give it to the Thunderwolves for getting back to Final 8. We knew they would rebound after one the nations toughest schedules. The boys from Thunderbay are not done yet and have all the tools to upset whoever they face in the opening round.

Ottawa Gee-Gees – (OUA Runner-Up)
We knew they would be good. The Gee-Gees have had strong recruiting classes the past few years and the results are starting to pay off. It will be really interesting to see where the Gee-Gees get ranked, they have played the defending champions and #1 seed Ravens tight on all three occasions including, arguably the best game of the year, in a triple-overtime thriller to closeout the regular season.

Men

Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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Men

Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

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Calgary Dinos Thomas Cooper Senior Highlights

Calgary Dinos senior guard Thomas Cooper had himself and impressive CIS/Usports career to say the least. The Chattanooga, Tenn. native, a 6-5, 200 lbs guard earned himself two first team All-Canadian awards while leading Dinos back to the championship game for the first time since 1966.

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Men

No. 1 Carleton Ravens 81-40 lock-up rivals No. 2 Ottawa Gee-Gees

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Eddie Ekiyor Carleton Ravens Vs.Ottawa Gee Gees USports Basketball
Photo - Valerie Wutti

Ottawa, ON – The twelve-time defending CIS/USports National Basketball Champions and No.1 Carleton Ravens went into Monpetit Hall and completely dominated the No. 2 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, locking up their Bytown rivals with a blistering 81-40 win.

The Ravens, the top defensive unit in the country, allowing an incredible low of only 60 points to opponents, dominated every aspect of the much anticipated game holding Ottawa to four points in the first-quarter and thirteen in the second for a grand total of seventeen first-half points and 35-17 half-time lead.

The first-quarter ended with Ravens leading 11-4 as both teams slugged it out in front of a jam packed standing room only Monpetit Hall which hasn’t seen the Gee-Gees get dismantled like this on their home floor in 32-game OUA conference games – snapping home winning streak which dated back to 2012.

Fifth-year senior Guard Connor Wood caught fire in the second-quarter after a cold start scoring all but 14 of the teams 24 points in the quarter and finished with 16 in the half and game-high 19 points. Starting point guard Kaza Kajami-Keane added 10 points, six rebounds in just 19 minutes.

The Gee-Gees were limited to 6-of-32 (18.8%) shooting, 3-of-17 from the outside in the opening 20 minutes and managed to only connect on 12-56 (21.4%) of their field goal attempts for the entire game and only 6-of-26 from the outside.

Carleton shot 50% in the second-half and finished 31-68 from the floor and 13-of-28 from downtown while turning the ball over 9 times compared to the Gee-Gees 18.

Must Read:  Tyler Ennis & Syracuse Orange survive Carleton Ravens 69-65 in classic NCAA/CIS overtime thriller

The 40 points allowed by the Ravens is their lowest against the Gee-Gees since a 74-34 smack-down in January 18th, 2012 at the Sixth Annual Capital Hoops Classic.

Carleton Ravens 6’10” freshman Eddie Ekiyor (Ottawa, ON) and senior forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) finished one point shy of double-doubles with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively, and shutdown the Gee-Gees dynamic duo of Caleb Agada (12 points, 4 rebounds) and former Ravens Jean Emmanuel Pierre (7 points, 6 rebounds). Gee-Gees Guard Brandon Robinson had a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-4 triples.

Carleton’s record  stays unblemished at a perfect 10-0, 16-0 against Canadian competition and 22-2 overall with the only losses coming from two NCAA opponents on the road in Rhode Island – Providence Friars 87-69 and in Philadelphia against LaSalle Explorers 79-73.

Both teams will meet again in just over two weeks (Feb 3rd) at the 2017 Capital Hoops Classic at the ScotiaBank Centre.

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