TORONTO — The Ryerson Rams men's basketball team will begin their quest for three-straight OUA championships on October 27th, 2017 when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie to kick off their 2017-18 campaign against the Algoma Thunderbirds.
Earlier today when the OUA released the 2017-18 league-based sport schedules, they also announced some format and rule changes to men's and women's basketball.
The league will revert to its former two-conference format, merging the OUA East and OUA North to form the new Eastern Conference, leaving the OUA Central and OUA West to form the new Western Conference.
Under the new conference format, each team will play home and away in addition to a single game, which rotates home and away annually, against each team in the opposing conference. The new format totals 23 regular season games in the East and 24 in the West.
New OUA Conference Format
|OUA Eastern Conference||OUA Western Conference|
|Carleton Ravens||Algoma Thunderbirds|
|Laurentian Voyageurs||Brock Badgers|
|Nipissing Lakers||Guelph Gryphons|
|Ottawa Gee-Gees||Lakehead Thunderwolves|
|Queen's Gaels||Laurier Golden Hawks|
|Ryerson Rams||McMaster Marauders|
|Toronto Varsity Blues||Waterloo Warriors|
|York Lions||Western Mustangs|
Along with the conference changes, there was also a change to the OUA's playoff format.
The 2017-18 playoffs will see the removal of the RPI ranking system, and playoff qualifications will once again be determined by team records. The top six teams from each division advance to the playoffs, with the top two seeds receiving a bye to the quarter-final round. Teams remain within their conferences for the first two rounds of the playoffs, where the semi-finals will feature division crossover matchups.
The playoff format will also move away from a Final Four concept to two single game semifinals. The championship game host is determined by annual division rotation unless two teams from the same conference were to advance from the semis, resulting in the highest seeded team hosting the Wilson or Critelli Cup Final.
The annual division rotation for 2018 is:
East – Men
West – Women
West – Men
East – Women
Friday, October 27th, 2017 | Rams at Algoma — Regular Season Opener
Ryerson will begin their regular season schedule with a trip to Sault Ste. Marie to take on the Thunderbirds. Last season the Rams were successful in the Soo, winning 111-61 lead by Ammanuel Diressa's impressive line of 28 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 | Rams vs. Brock — Home Opener
It's game three of the Ryerson–Brock rivalry that has flourished over the past two seasons. Each team has yet to lose at home, and the Rams will look to avenge their 74-65 loss to the Badgers at the Meridian Centre last season.
Friday, November 10th, 2017 | Rams vs. McMaster — Coach PT Returns
This will be a game you absolutely cannot miss as it marks the return of Patrick Tatham, the man who lead the Rams to their first banner as interim head coach, as well as winning CIS Coach of the Year in 2016. Tatham will be entering his first season as head coach of the Marauders, so while there may be hugs and smiles before the game, it will be all business come tip-off.
Friday, January 5th, 2018 | Rams at Carleton — First game of 2018
After a 34-day absence for the holiday break, the Rams are on the road for a tough back-to-back with the Ravens and Gee-Gees. In what might be the best, growing rivlary in the country, the Rams and Ravens met in both the Wilson Cup and U SPORTS Championship games in 2016-17.
Saturday, January 27th, 2018 | Rams vs. Carleton — Ravens in the Bowl
Just three weeks after their trip to the Ravens' Nest, Ryerson will host Carleton in the Mattamy Athletic Centre's arena bowl for their last regular season matchup of the season. In the previous five matchups against each other, Ryerson is 3-and-2, outscoring the Ravens 384-368.
You can view the full Ryerson Rams men's basketball schedule here.