Cascades 2016-17 basketball schedule released

New divisional format this fall for men’s, women’s teams

A brand new divisional format highlights the Canada West regular season for the UFV Cascades.

A brand new divisional format highlights the Canada West regular season for the UFV Cascades.

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The University of the Fraser Valley basketball teams will be competing under a new schedule format when the Canada West regular season tips off in November.

The Canada West conference’s 2016-17 basketball schedules, released on June 23, no longer feature the Pioneer and Explorer Divisions. That alignment, which had been in effect the past two seasons, saw the Cascades play their entire regular-season schedules against five opponents in the Explorer Division.

The 17 Canada West basketball schools will now play in a single conference, featuring a 20-game regular season. Each team will play four geographical/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.

The Cascades’ slate of geographical/historical foes is comprised of a quartet of B.C. teams. UFV will play Trinity Western, Thompson Rivers, UBC Okanagan and UNBC on an annual basis.

The Cascades begin their 2016-17 Canada West campaign at home, as they welcome the Saskatchewan Huskies to the Envision Athletic Centre on opening weekend (Nov. 4 and 5). The Huskies women’s team are the defending Canada West and CIS national champions.

The following weekend, UFV takes on its local rival, the Trinity Western Spartans, in a home-and-home series. The Cascades play host on Nov. 11, and visit the Langley Events Centre on Nov. 12.

Other home opponents for UFV include the UNBC Timberwolves (Nov. 25 and 26), MacEwan Griffins (Jan. 6 and 7), Thompson Rivers WolfPack (Jan. 27 and 28) and Victoria Vikes (Feb. 3 and 4).

The Cascades’ schedule also includes road trips to play the Brandon Bobcats (Dec. 2 and 3), Calgary Dinos (Jan. 12 and 13), Alberta Golden Bears/Pandas (Jan. 20 and 21) and UBC Okanagan Heat (Feb. 10 and 11).

The Canada West playoffs will feature the top 12 teams playing a bracketed 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 quarter-finals, 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 to 12 – the CIS men’s Final Eight returns to Halifax, and Victoria hosts the best women’s teams in the nation.

For more information on the teams, visit ufvcascades.ca.