The University of Victoria men’s basketball team will head to nationals as the number-one seed after capturing their second-straight Canada West title.
The Vikes beat the University of Winnipeg 95-80 as they hosted the conference championship game at UVic’s CARSA Performance Gym on March 3.
Coming off being named Canada West player of the year, Diego Maffia spearheaded the Vikes with 20 points, a team-high nine assists and four rebounds. Elias Ralph and rookie Renoldo Robinson each added 18 points, while Dominick Oliveri owned the boards with a game-high 22 rebounds.
UVic took their first lead 40 seconds after tip-off and carried it into a 37-30 advantage at halftime. The home team then hit three-straight threes to break away in a back-and-forth third and just outscored Winnipeg in the fourth to secure their 15-point victory.
“Winnipeg is a really tough team and answered us punch-for-punch over the first three quarters,” head coach Craig Beaucamp said.
“Winning is hard, and repeating (as conference champions) is very, very hard. I’m really proud of the guys and happy for them.”
The Vikes improve to an overall record of 20-3 through the regular season and playoffs. Greater Victoria’s squad will have the top seed in the March 10-12 U SPORTS men’s national championships. UVic will face the University of P.E.I. in the quarterfinals of the final eight tournament in Halifax.
That matchup will air at 8 p.m. on Friday (March 10) and all the games can be viewed on the CBC Sports digital platforms.