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Vikes men’s basketball retake the top spot nationally as season winds down

UVic’s sweep of Thompson Rivers helps vault them bank into the one-seed
Diego Maffia, an Oak Bay Secondary Alum, led the Vikes men’s basketball team as they swept Thompson Rivers University on Jan. 27 and 28. (Courtesy of the University of Victoria Vikes)

The University of Victoria men’s basketball team leapt back into the top spot nationwide thanks to a sweep of the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack on the weekend.

The Vikes owned the number-one seed as U SPORTS updated its men’s basketball national rankings on Tuesday. After floating around the top three to start the season, UVic steadily rose the ranks after the Christmas break to earn the first-overall ranking earlier in January.

Even though the local team hasn’t lost since November, they were then dethroned in the rankings by the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.

But two wins against Thompson Rivers on Jan. 27 and 28 were enough for the Vikes to climb back atop the table after Ottawa’s recent loss to Queen’s University. The Vikes breezed by TRU on Friday with a 96-59 win before the Wolfpack put up a greater fight the next night.

Saturday’s score was tight through two quarters before the Vikes started to slowly break away in the third. The Wolfpack proved to be the better team down the stretch, outscoring UVic 21-15 in the final frame, but the Vikes were able to hang on thanks to a 15-point cushion they had going into the fourth.

Diego Maffia was a big part of the victory with 18 points, while also adding nine rebounds and four assists. The Oak Bay Secondary alum scored the Canada West and U SPORTS basketball player of the week on the men’s side earlier in January.

The Vikes have four regular season games remaining over the next two weeks as they close the season against the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat and the ninth-ranked UBC Thunderbirds.

While they don’t enjoy a top-10 ranking like their counterparts, the University of Victoria’s women’s basketball team also swept Thompson Rivers on the weekend. The Vikes’ wins against the Wolfpack helped them improve to 3-3 in January and 7-9 on the season.

READ: University of Victoria named one of Canada best employers


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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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