2022 MCAC Men’s Basketball Championship Preview

Two years ago, the last Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) men’s basketball championship was presented. This 2021-22 season has seen three teams battle throughout the year to earn the championship title in 2022. Providence University College (PUC) Pilots is the host of this year’s MCAC VB Championship on March 3-4 at Niverville Community Resource & Recreation Centre in Niverville, MB.

PUC’s Associate Director of Athletics, Partnerships, Cody Quiring commented about hosting the Championship: “Providence is excited to host the annual MCAC Basketball Championships in the brand new home game facility of Providence Athletics, The Niverville Community Resource and Recreation Centre. We look forward to welcoming fans from near and far to watch an outstanding level of basketball as these hardworking teams strive to capture this year’s title of being crowned MCAC Champions.”

#1 Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers to play in Championship final – 8 p.m. CT start on Friday, March 4

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers finished a 10-2 regular season this year. The squad is looking to win a conference championship for the first time since 2017.

In 2021-22, the Blazers averaged 80 points per game while holding teams to 69 points during the 12 regular season games. CMU has suffered their only two losses during the final four regular season games.

Two of the Top 4 MCAC scorers are Blazers. Second year guard Isaiah Cole tops the conference with 20.1 points per game along with fourth year guard Seth McKenzie in fourth at 17.7. Rookie forward Ezra Leano is fourth in conference rebounding with 8.82 per game. Cole also leads MCAC in assists with 5.92 per game.

Head coach Scott Martin, in his third year, will be scouting the semi-final match and have CMU ready for another championship game. With clinching the number one seed, the Blazers receive the bye into the Championship final on Friday, March 4 at 6 p.m. CT.

#2 Providence University College (PUC) Pilots vs. #3 USB Les Rouges – 8 p.m. CT start on Thursday, March 3

This should be an intriguing contest as both teams have had recent success in the second half. Both teams have also defeated the top seed Blazers in the month of February.

The Pilots notched a 5-6 record and won four of five meetings against Les Rouges in 2021-22. PUC won the last game by a 78-58 result on Feb. 12 on the road and will have their home side cheering them on during this encounter.

Second year center Riley Paul led PUC in scoring and third in MCAC with 17.8 ppg. while third year shooting guard Joshua Armstrong ended up sixth in MCAC at 12.7 ppg. In MCAC rebounds, Paul was first with 10.3 per game, third year power forward and captain Waedon Dueck in third with 9.0 per game while rookie small forward Nathan Ens was sixth at 7.09 per game.

Head coach Pierre Dubreuil, in his fourth season, has guided the team with a goal to get into the final and win PUC’s first MCAC men’s basketball championship since 2003 plus avenge the championship game loss in 2020.

USB finally made it back onto the court after announcing a return for both basketball teams for this upcoming season. This was the first time Les Rouges basketball programs played in MCAC since the 2008-09 season for the men’s program and 2005-06 for the women.  

In the first season, USB has steadily improved and completed the regular season with a 2-9 record and both wins came in the second half. Les Rouges won 72-70 on the road against PUC on Jan. 28 and completed the regular season will a flourish when they defeated CMU 78-70 on the road on Feb. 25.

Guard Daniel Conway led the team scoring and fifth in MCAC with 16.5 ppg. and forward Ade Orogun tied for seventh in MCAC at 11.8 per game. Orogun was also second in conference rebounds with 9.18 per game and guard Randy Gborie is fourth in conference assists at 3.27 per game.

Head coach Christian Mouné, in his first season, has built this team to make a push into the championship final and compete versus the host in a competitive semi-final game this season.

2022 MCAC Men’s Basketball Championship hosted by PUC in Niverville, MB

Thursday, March 3 (all times are Central Time) – live stream at: https://www.youtube.com/c/MCACAthletics

8 p.m.     Semi-Final: #3 USB Les Rouges vs. #2 PUC Pilots

Friday, March 4

8 p.m.     Men’s Basketball Championship Final – #1 CMU Blazers vs. Semi Final winner