GRAVENHURST, Ont. – The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) basketball schedule will move to a four division format beginning in 2014-15, after a motion was passed by the Board of Directors as part of the Annual General Meeting.
As a result of the divisional re-alignment the OUA will also introduce a new playoff structure which will enhance competition for overall seeding throughout the league’s regular season.
Twelve of the seventeen teams will qualify for the revised playoff format, which will feature a Final Four for both men and women the weekend of March 6-8, leading up to the new CIS championship weekend which will take place March 12-15. The Final Four will be hosted by the highest remaining seed after the OUA quarter finals are complete.
“This structure allows the best teams to advance to the OUA Final Fours and CIS championships, while introducing the excitement of a bracket style playoff,” said interim OUA Executive Director Bryan Crawford regarding the decision. “Every game matters, and we are excited to continue to feature some of the nation’s top basketball programs.”
The new alignment of teams will compete under the West, Central, East, and North banners. The West division will be a five-team grouping (Algoma, Waterloo, Western, Wilfrid Laurier, Windsor), including double-header weekends in Sault Ste. Marie against the Thunderbirds within an eight game home-at-home schedule within the division. The West will also play a single game against teams from the Central, East, and North, totalling 20 games.
The remaining three divisions consist of four teams playing a 19 game schedule. The Central division (Brock, Guelph, Lakehead, McMaster) will play double-header weekends at Lakehead. The North division (Carleton, Laurentian, Nipissing, Ottawa) will feature the league’s newest team as the Nipissing Lakers join competition, while the East division (Queen’s, Ryerson, Toronto, York) will enhance some traditional OUA rivalries.
The top three teams from each OUA division will qualify for the postseason. All twelve qualifying teams, regardless of division position, will be ranked based on RPI to determine the playoff bracket. The RPI rankings will be calculated and applied by the OUA based on regular season results against the other playoff teams. The top four teams based on the rankings will be awarded byes through the first round of the playoffs.
The regular season will tip off the week of November 5, featuring four weeks of play before the December exam break. The season will continue over seven weeks in the winter, closing February 21. The full regular season schedule will be released the first week of June.
OUA Preliminary Round – Wednesday February 25th, 2015
9 @ 8
10 @ 7
11 @ 6
12 @ 5
1-4 receive bye
OUA Quarter Finals - Saturday February 28th, 2015
Winner 9 vs. 8 @ 1 (QFA)
Winner 7 vs. 10 @ 2 (QFB)
Winner 6 vs. 11 @ 3 (QFC)
Winner 5 vs. 12 @ 4 (QFD)
Round 3 & 4
OUA Final Four @ Highest Remaining Seed – Friday March 6th & Saturday March 7th, 2015
Winner QFA vs. winner QFD
Winner QFB vs. winner QFC
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