WELLAND – After a weekend of OCAA playoff crossover action, the eight team field is set for the belairdirect 2018 OCAA Men’s Basketball Championship being hosted by Niagara College from March 1-3.
The loaded field consists of the Redeemer Royals (19-1, 1st West), Seneca Sting (19-1, 1st East), Sheridan Bruins (16-4, 2ndWest), George Brown Huskies (18-2, 2nd East), Humber Hawks (15-5, 3rd West), Lambton Lions (13-7, 5th West), Fanshawe Falcons (11-9, 6th West), and host Niagara Knights (13-7, 4th West).
The event will take place from March 1-3 at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre, and sees all three medal winners from 2017 in Sheridan, George Brown, and Humber return to the final eight championship.
After cruising through the OCAA regular season to a record of 19-1, Redeemer extended the most successful season in Royals men’s basketball history by disposing of the Loyalist Lancers 88-75 in playoff crossover action. Their opening round opponent will be the 2016 OCAA men’s basketball bronze medal winning Lambton Lions. The Lions dispatched the Centennial Colts 83-74 to advance to the final eight.
The George Brown Huskies enter the Championship as the defending silver medalists. The Huskies, who are the No. 3 ranked team in the OCAA, defeated Mohawk 86-76 during crossover weekend. They will face the No. 4 ranked Humber Hawks in game two of the championship. Humber, the defending OCAA bronze medal winner, easily defeated the St. Lawrence Vikings at home by a score of 97-68 to advance to the event.
The host Niagara Knights enter the tournament after a one week bye. The Knights won their last two regular season games of the season in convincing fashion. They will face the Seneca Sting in the opening round of the tournament at 6:00pm on Thursday, March 1st. Seneca enters the event as the No. 1 ranked team in the OCAA. The Sting easily took care of business in their crossover game defeating the St. Clair Saints at home 83-63.
The final game of the opening day will see the defending Champion Sheridan Bruins face the Fanshawe Falcons. Sheridan defeated Georgian 106-78 to advance, while Fanshawe defeated Durham 63-59 on the road in a tightly contested affair.
The Championship format will see a total of 11 matches in three days. The winners of the four day-one matches will advance to the medal round, while the losers will be relegated to the consolation side of the bracket. Winners of the medal semi-final matches on Friday, March 2nd will advance to the gold medal game, while the semi-final losers will compete for bronze.
Quarterfinal final games will take place on Thursday, March 1 at 1:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 8:00pm. The championship semi-final matches will be played at 6:00 and 8:00pm on Friday March 2nd. The bronze medal game will be played on March 3rd at 5:00pm, while tip-off for the gold medal game is set for 7:00pm.
Tickets for the event are $5.00 on March 1-2, and $10.00 on Championship Saturday. Tournament passes can be purchased for $15.00. Admission is free for all Niagara College students and anyone under the age of 15.
Championship Website: http://www.ocaa.com/mbb
Thursday, March 1st
Game 1 (1:00pm): Redeemer Royals vs. Lambton Lions
Game 2 (3:00pm): George Brown Huskies vs. Humber Hawks
Game 3 (6:00pm): Niagara Knights vs. Seneca Sting
Game 4 (8:00pm): Sheridan bruins vs. Fanshawe Falcons
Friday, March 2nd
Game 5 (1:00pm): Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6 (3:00pm): Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7 – Semi-Final (6:00pm): Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 8 – Semi-Final (8:00pm): Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Saturday, March 3rd
Game 9 – Consolation Final (2:00pm): Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 10 – Bronze Medal (5:00pm): Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8
Game 11 – Gold Medal (7:00pm): Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
(Source: Niagara College news release)