Ottawa, ON- Championships, both provincial and national, have become the norm in basketball at Carleton University, and the 2019-2020 team did not shy away from the challenge on keeping the status quo. This season’s Ravens went 27-1 across all competitions, culminating in two new banners for a program that has comfortably established itself as the Canadian basketball equivalent to the New England Patriots.
Men’s Basketball- The Dynasty Continues
It was another year of dominance for the Ravens Men’s basketball team as they added even more trophies to the case. A third straight Wilson Cup as OUA champions, their 12th in 18 years, and a 15th U SPORTS national title in the same span of 18 years.
The route to the Wilson Cup looked all too easy for the perennial powerhouse. They cruised through the regular season to the tune of a 21-1 record, their only loss was by a single point, 68-67, to the Ottawa Gee-Gees in the Capital Hoops Classic. Carleton took home another OUA East title with an impressive +753 point differential.
The title game pitted the Ravens against a Mustangs team set to head to the national championship for the first time in 11 years. Carleton clinched the banner with a 90-68 victory, but the game was a lot tighter than the final scoreline. Western managed to squash Carleton’s hefty lead to a mere four points with 8 minutes left on the clock. However, the resolute Ravens re-upped their advantage to 16 with under five to play. By that point, the title was theirs, as it was clear the Mustangs were out of gas. Western’s head coach conceded post-game that his team simply got worn down towards the end, which is nothing but a testament to how hard fought a matchup it was.
Come time for the national finals, it was the same old story for Carleton, starting with a big quarterfinal victory over the University of Calgary. Eventual MVP, Isiah Osborne went off for 20 points and six rebounds en route to an 82-66 win. The Ravens were impressive, going 50% from beyond the arc. Their field shooting was no less impressive at 43.9%, while Calgary only hit 21.1% of threes and 37.5% from the field.
After vanquishing the Dinos, the Ravens were facing a rematch of their OUA finals against a Mustangs team hungry for revenge. It certainly didn’t look like the same kind of game that took place around a month prior, with Carleton coasting to a 90-63 win. For as good as the OUA champs looked, their opponents looked every bit as weak. Western hit a mere 12.9% of from three, while Carleton sank 33.3% of their chances. The difference in field accuracy was less jarring, the Ravens hit 43.2% as the Mustangs shot for 33.9%. It was time for yet another Ravens appearance in the national title game.
In a battle of conference champions, the Ravens were faced with the Tigers from Dalhousie University. It was without a doubt the tightest contest Carleton had taken part in in the 2020 championships as the teams went back and forth for four quarters. Where the Ravens had a better field shooting percentage, at 45.9% to the Tigers’ 38.1%, the Ontario champs were beat when it came to three point shooting, sinking 21.1% of theirs while the Atlantic champions hit 25% from beyond the arc. As for the number that counts, Carleton took the win by a score of 74-65, a testament to Dalhousie’s defensive ability. With the win, first-year head coach, and OUA coach of the year, Taffe Charles became the first U SPORTS basketball bench boss to win national titles on both the men’s and women’s sides.
Despite the uncertainty that looms over next season, one thing is for sure: if the season is a go, the Ravens will be looking to continue their dynasty.