Lum keeps the Blues on point and outlasts Langara in PacWest quarterfinal

Capilano guard James Lum floats a runner over Langara’s Ranjodh Hare during the quarterfinals of the 2012 PacWest Championships on Thursday, Mar. 3. – Brian Jones Photo

If the Capilano University Blues and Langara College Falcons had played a 10-game series instead of a single-knockout match last night, there is no doubt in my mind that it would have been split right down the middle at five apiece.

But this is the PacWest playoffs – not a Fischer-Spassky chess championship – so the Blues took full advantage of the winner-take-all format and narrowly beat the Falcons 85-77 Thursday night at Capilano University’s Sportsplex.

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UBC rises at right time, defeats Victoria Vikes – Kamar Burke registers monster game

There may not be a better starting lineup in the country.

Credit an early start by Doug Plumb, a late explosion by Nathan Yu, and a dominant effort from Kamar Burke for the UBC Thunderbirds 68-52 win over the University of Victoria Vikes Friday, Feb. 10 at UBC’s War Memorial Gym.

The trio of seniors have at times been able to pull back a little due to the great playing of rookie Malcolm Williams and second-year forward Tommy Nixon, but as the calendar nears March and each game becomes more important than the last, it’s the seniors who are pacing the Thunderbirds.

“That’s just a great team. That’s just what a great team does,” said Yu after the game.

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UBC Thunderbirds dominate UBC-O to extend win streak to eight

UBC’s Kamar Burke finishes an up and under baseline dunk with authority during the Thunderbird’s 77-43 win over UBC-O on Friday, Jan. 27. – Brian Jones Photo

When the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus made the jump from the CCAA basketball ranks to the CIS, it wasn’t expected of them to come out dominating their established Canada West conference opponents.

So when the aptly named “Heat” travelled down from frigid Kelowna weather to Vancouver for a pair of regular-season matchups against the original University of British Columbia, the Thunderbirds, it was a stretch to assume that a passionate rivalry would ensue.

When a team gets pummeled by 34 points one night then 30 the next, it’s safe to say that a rivalry wasn’t sparked, but that the Heat were simply dealt consecutive beat downs that illustrate the level they need to reach.

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Every second counts: A play-by-play breakdown of UBC’s overtime victory against Alberta

Fifth-year UBC point guard Nathan Yu drives in for a layup against Alberta on Friday, January 6. - Brian Jones Photo

In late November, when the UBC Thunderbirds dropped two Canada West regular season matches to Lethbridge and Calgary, I honestly thought that it was going to be a rebuilding year for last year’s national bronze medalists.

Although they had opened up the 2011-12 campaign with four straight wins against Canada West competition, I came to the conclusion that after that brutal Alberta road trip, that this wouldn’t be the year where the T-Birds claimed that elusive gold at nationals.

After the two-game skid, UBC had a month lay-off and then headed down to Santa Barbara where they split a pair of games against UC Merced and Trinity International University.

Then 2012 happened.

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Capilano secures first place in PacWest with win over Douglas

Third-year point-forward Omid Davani brings up the ball against Douglas' Malcolm Mensah. - Brian Jones Photo

Can a team be too talented to fail?

Sometimes.

Can a team be too talented to be the best in their league?

Not in this case.

With an 81-73 win over the Douglas College Royals Saturday night at Douglas’ New Westminster campus, the Capilano University Blues have locked up first place in the PacWest standings.

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