Lakehead Men’s Basketball lands ‘Wild Card’ selection


NNL Thunderwolves SportsbeatTHUNDER BAY – Sports – (With files from CIS) – The men’s basketball has been selected for the at-large berth, better known as the ‘Wild Card’ for the CIS Final 8 championships in Halifax. The tournament begins Friday afternoon in Halifax, with the CIS champion being decided in Sunday’s final.

The ‘Wolves were eliminated from the conventional road to the Final 8 championship following their semifinal round loss to the Ryerson Rams in Waterloo on Friday evening (86-70). The criteria for qualifying for a Wild Card bid are rather involved, but it generally comes down to the season records among the best team in the country were not regional finalists, and the year-long CIS rankings.

Grace to their .909 winning percentage and being ranked at #2 in the CIS for the last 7 weeks during the season (and never being ranked lower than 4 all year long), Lakehead was the statistical leader among teams bidding for the Wild Card.

U of Saskatchewan was the only other team that had a palatable case to be made for the Wild Card selection. The Huskies were knocked out in the Canada West semi final round by the Alberta Golden Bears, and were ranked as high as #3 in the CIS this season.

Lakehead is seeded at #4 and will face the Fraser Valley Cascades in the first game of the championships, Friday March 9 at 12 noon (Atlantic) at the Halifax Metro Center.

See the full schedule and seeding list below.

1. Carleton Ravens (OUA champions: 22-0 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)
2. Alberta Golden Bears (CWUAA champions: 14-6 regular season / 4-0 playoffs)
3. Concordia Stingers (RSEQ champions: 14-2 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)
4. Lakehead Thunderwolves (at-large entry: 20-2 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
5. Fraser Valley Cascades (CWUAA finalists: 13-5 regular season / 3-2 playoffs)
6. St. Francis Xavier X-Men (AUS finalists: 16-4 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
7. Ryerson Rams (OUA finalists: 13-9 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)
8. Acadia Axemen (AUS champions: 14-6 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)


NOTE 1: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada (
NOTE 2: Live broadcast of semifinals and final on EastLink TV
NOTE 3: Semifinals and final on tape delay on NBA TV Canada

Thursday, March 8
Team practices: 1 hour per team starting at 8 a.m.
19:00 All-Canadian Banquet (Westin Nova Scotian)

Friday, March 9
12:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 5 Fraser Valley vs. No. 4 Lakehead
14:15 Quarter-final #2: No. 8 Acadia vs. No. 1 Carleton
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 7 Ryerson vs. No. 2 Alberta
20:15 Quarter-final #4: No. 6 StFX vs. No. 3 Concordia

Saturday, March 10
12:00 Consolation #1: Loser QF #1 vs. Loser QF #2
14:15 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4
18:00 Semifinal #1: Winner QF #1 vs. Winner QF #2
20:15 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4

Sunday, March 11
11:00 Consolation final (5th place)
13:15 Bronze medal game
16:30 Championship final

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Hugh Mullally is the Sports Information Director at Lakehead University. Hugh shares, "In the field of athletics, I aspire to continue developing my public profile as a source for sports information with my current employer, with a little bit of entertainment mixed in with my live game commentary and my weekly radio show that features athletes and coaches from Lakehead University".