By John DeCoste
Hours after dropping the Atlantic conference final 83-75 to Cape Breton, the Acadia men’s basketball team learned Sunday evening they have been awarded the “at-large” wildcard berth to next weekend's CIS Final Eight in Ottawa. The wildcard selection completes the eight-team field for the national championship tournament.
The Axemen, ranked fifth in the final CIS rankings of the season, will enter the Final Eight as the fifth seed - the best result they could have hoped for as a non-conference champion.
Acadia's quarterfinal opponent will be the fourth seed UBC Thunderbirds, the Canada West champions. The Axemen and T-Birds will play March 8 at 7 p.m. AST.
The other quarterfinal match-ups that day will be Cape Breton versus Lakehead at 1 p.m.; Ottawa versus McGill at 3:15 and top-ranked Carleton against Victoria at 9 p.m. (all times Atlantic.))
Acadia will be trying to improve on its fifth-place finish and consolation final win at last year's national tournament. The Axemen last played in the CIS final game in 2008 and are aiming for their first national title since the 1976-1977 Axemen won the championship at the Halifax Forum.