U Sports men’s basketball Final 8 preview

Fresh off winning gold at the OUA men’s basketball final, the Ryerson Rams head to nationals in Halifax as the No. 1 seed for the second straight year.

After winning bronze the last two years at nationals, the Rams are looking to win their first title. Should they be successful, it will be the first championship in the university’s history.

Rams forward Juwon Grannam scores a pair for Ryerson in a 86-79 championship win over the Carleton Ravens on March 4, 2017. (Andrea Vacl/Ryersonian Staff)

The Rams aren’t the only returnees from last year’s nationals. Behind Ryerson at No. 2 for the second year in a row are the reigning national champions, the Carleton Ravens. The Ravens went a perfect 19-0 in the regular season, losing their only game in the final against Ryerson. They yielded the No. 1 ranking to the Rams when Ryerson beat them in the OUA final on March 4.

At No. 3 is the Quebec Student Sports Network champion McGill Redmen, who appeared in the Final 8 last season as the fifth seed. The other returnees are the No. 5 and No. 7-ranked Dalhousie Tigers and the Calgary Dinos, who are the current national silver medalists. The fresh faces this year are the Alberta Golden Bears at No. 4, the No. 6 Manitoba Bisons and the No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies.

The Rams kick off their tournament on Thursday at 5 p.m. against the Huskies. If they win, they advance to the semifinal at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday against the winner of Alberta vs. Dalhousie. If they lose, they would play in the consolation game Friday night at 7 p.m.

All the games will be webcast on U SPORTS TV. The semifinals and finals can be seen on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now.

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