BRANDON – The Bobcat basketball teams are looking to pick up right where they left off once the Canada West regular season starts this fall.
Last season, both BU teams qualified for the conference playoffs and a deeper push into the post-season is on the minds of the Bobcats after getting an official look at the 2017-18 schedule.
- The Bobcats will play nine home dates and 11 on the road
- Both BU basketball teams coming off playoff appearances
- New conference playoff format
- Afternoon games for school groups on January 26
- Home games to be broadcast on
- Canada West has partnered with Yare Media to revamp Canada West TV
The Bobcats begin their season by visiting the Lethbridge Pronghorns on October 27. BU's home opener is set for November 3 when they entertain the Victoria Vikes. Tip-off is 6 p.m. for the women's game followed by the men's contest at 8 p.m.
"It is always interesting when you first see the schedule and we are excited for the challenges that are ahead of us. There are some tough places to play in the conference and we start with a tall task in Lethbridge," said men's coach Gil Cheung. "Our first home game is against Victoria. They have a great basketball tradition just like us at Brandon University, so it is a classic way to start our schedule at the Healthy Living Centre."
BU will also welcome the Calgary Dinos, Winnipeg Wesmen, UNBC Timberwolves and Saskatchewan Huskies to the Healthy Living Centre. The games on January 26 against the Huskies will be afternoon games, giving schools in the area a chance to cheer on the Bobcats. Last season's matinee games saw over 1,000 students attend from Brandon and the surrounding area.
"It was the biggest crowd that we have played in front of over my coaching career at BU. I know our players enjoyed the experience," said women's bench boss Novell Thomas. "This coming season we will see the top-ranked Huskies come to town and it will be a lot of fun to play them in front of another packed house."
The Bobcats will team up with Westman Communications Group once again to broadcast all homes on WCGtv Channel 12. You can also keep track of the BU teams through www.canadawest.tv with live stats and video. The conference is proud to partner with Yare Media to develop a revamped Canada West TV for all fans to enjoy on their computer, tablet or smartphone device.
Season tickets and flex backs for the 2017-18 Bobcat season will go on sale in September.
Meanwhile, there will be a different playoff format for 2017-18. The post-season will no longer culminate with a Final Four tournament, but rather a single conference championship game. This will ensure a host team is vying for the league title. The number of playoff spots available will remain the same with the top 12 advancing following the regular season
- October 27 – Season opener on the road at Lethbridge
- November 3 – Home-opener against Victoria
- November 18 – Final home game of first half of season against Calgary
- January 5-6 – Home and home series with Winnipeg
- January 27 - Final regular season home game against Saskatchewan
- February 9-10 – Canada West Play-In Games (Location TBD)
- February 15-18 – Canada West Quarter-Finals (Location TBD)
- February 22-25 – Canada West Semifinals (Location TBD)
- March 2 or 3 – Canada West Final (Location TBD)
- March 8-11 – U SPORTS Men's National Championship (at Halifax)
- March 8-11 – U SPORTS Women's National Championship (at Regina)