Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Rams, Ravens, revenge in store for U SPORTS semifinal

By Christian Ryan

HALIFAX, N.S. - The OUA’s marquee matchup is coming to the national stage once more.

The Ryerson Rams are preparing to face heated rivals Carleton Ravens in the U SPORTS Final 8 semifinal Saturday night at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This marks the fourth time that the teams have met this season, with an undefeated record of 3-0 in favour of Carleton.

Saturday’s game bears heavy significance in the heated history between the two OUA East powerhouses, as the two are known for facing off in do-or-die situations. The game will be one week off from the Ravens defeating the Rams in the OUA finals, halting the Rams conference title streak at two. With the Rams previously having defeated the Ravens for their consecutive OUA titles, the Ravens would then turn around and defeat them in the Final 8 - with Carleton claiming gold over Ryerson in 2017. This year, the Rams hope to flip the script.

The Rams move on to the semifinals after a dominant quarter-final performance against Canada West standouts the Alberta Golden Bears, winning by a clean 88-62 score. Manny Diressa (Toronto, Ont.) and J.V. Mukama (Hamilton, Ont.) were the game’s standout performers as the down but not out season for the Rams is turning into another run for a national title.

Yesterday’s final quarter-final was nearly a home crowd shocker, as host Acadia Axemen - the lowest seed of the tournament - made a valiant effort to nearly upset U SPORTS basketball’s most dominant program. Pushing the game to 59-56 with eight remaining in the fourth quarter, the hometown crowd's roars turned to a resigned silence as the seven-time defending champions ran away late to win 81-64. However, the moments of weakness could give the Rams a chance to force their way into another national finals berth.

The U SPORTS Final 8 semifinal between the Ryerson Rams and Carleton Ravens will take place Saturday, March 9th at 5 p.m. ET at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The winner will go on to fight for gold and the title of U SPORTS national champion. Rams fans can watch the action televised live on Sportsnet 360.

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