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Pandas venturing into Canada West's new one-and-done basketball playoff format vs. Cascades

University of Alberta Pandas head coach Scott Edwards
University of Alberta Pandas head coach Scott Edwards

There are two ways to look at the new format for Canada West basketball playoffs.

It’s either lose one and done, or win and get into the next round.

“We’ve never had the one-and-done format for basketball playoffs since I’ve been in the conference,” said Scott Edwards, in his 14th season as University of Pandas basketball head coach. “Win, you move on, if you lose, you’re done. So it gives a little bit of a different perspective for everybody coming into the weekend.”

Heading into Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium as the fourth seed according to the rating percentage index following a 16-4 season, the Pandas will face the fifth-seed University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in Thursday’s quarter-final (8 p.m., CanadaWest.TV), with the winner advancing to Saturday’s semifinal against the winner between the top-seed University of Calgary Dinos and the ninth-seed University of Northern British Columbia.

No more best-of-three series puts CanWest more in line with what the other conferences are doing.

“If you look at the NCAA Road to the Final Four mentality, it’s the same kind of concept here,” Edwards said. “It should add some excitement and, as a lower seed, potentially in some of those games you hope for some upsets.

“It’s a bit of a wash between us and Fraser Valley, but the winner of that game moving on, if they get a chance to play the Dinos as the No. 1 seed, you hope that everyone can compete well for that night.”

But, first things first, the Pandas will have to contend with a Cascades roster that has a mix of youth and experience.

“They’re led by an incredibly dynamic fifth-year player,” Edwards said of five-foot-11 forward Taylor Clagett, whose 19.6 points per game is second in the conference, while leading the way with 10.4 rebounds. “She’s one of the great players in our conference right now and having a great season.”

Email: gmoddejonge@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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