EDMONTON – A January gauntlet of tough home games against top Canada West teams Alberta, UBC and Lethbridge highlights the MacEwan Griffins men's basketball schedule for the 2019-20 season.
The Griffins will open the season on Nov. 1-2 at home against Mount Royal University (8 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, David Atkinson Gym) and will play more home games (11) than road games (9) in their 20-game slate.
Included is a stretch of five second semester home dates in a six-game stretch against perennial contenders Alberta (Jan. 16), UBC (Jan. 24-25) and Lethbridge (Jan. 31-Feb. 1).
The UBC visit, along with a pair of home games against Manitoba (Jan. 3-4), mark the first time both programs will visit the David Atkinson Gym for a Canada West regular season match.
Griffins head coach Mike Connolly, who is heading into his first season at the helm of the program, is excited the team gets to play in the David Atkinson Gym 11 times in 2019-20.
"Any time you play at home in front of your home crowd, it's a benefit," said Connolly. "Every game in Canada West is tough but playing at home makes it easier."
MacEwan's 2019-20 slate will also feature the program's first-ever regular season visits to Saskatchewan (Nov. 8-9) and Trinity Western (Nov. 29-30).
The Griffins will be aiming to get back to the Canada West post-season for the first time since 2015-16 after missing out on the dance last winter.
The first round of the conference playoffs (Feb. 14-16) remains unchanged and will once again feature single-elimination games between the No. 5 through No. 12 seeds, while the top-four seeds earn a bye (seeding determined by RPI). The teams advancing from the play-in round will be re-seeded 5-8 ahead of the revamped quarter-finals.
Both quarter-final and semifinal rounds have been compressed, both in terms of the number of games and weeks. Instead of best-of-three quarters and semis, both rounds will now be single elimination games, being played the same weekend (Feb. 21-23). The top-two seeds will host each side of the draw, with the winners meeting the following weekend (Feb. 29) for the conference championship.
The U SPORTS national championship is scheduled for March 5-8 in Ottawa.
For fans looking to watch the action, 2019-20 Canada West TV passes are now on sale, with the best early-bird pricing available until the end of June. An all-access pass ($79.99), or a soccer sport pass ($31.99), can be purchased by clicking here.
Season tickets will be available for sale on Sept. 14 online or in person at the Christenson Centre for Sport and Wellness.