The University of Alberta will host the U Sports Men’s Final 8 for the first time in the school’s history.
The championship will be March 10-13, 2022, at the Saville Community Sports Centre, which has also been home to the 2017 U Sports Men’s Volleyball Championship and the 2019 U Sports Women’s Volleyball Championship.
“The UofA has hosted national university championships in every varsity sport, except men’s basketball, until now,” said Ian Reade, Golden Bears and Pandas athletic director, in a statement.
“It is a great opportunity to showcase a fantastic product in a city with such a great history of hosting major sporting events. Students, and of course all Canadians, need something to be excited about.”
The UofA has partnered with Events Edmonton, Alberta Basketball and Canada Basketball to host the four-day tournament.
Alberta has not hosted a men’s national basketball championship since the University of Calgary did it in 1979 and 1980.
The Golden Bears have historically been one of the top men’s basketball programs in the country, having won 13 Canada West titles, three national championships, and qualified for the national tournament four consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2020. The 2021 championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bears will get an automatic berth into the 2022 U Sports championship as the host school.
Head coach Barnaby Craddock said in a statement that it is “exciting times” for basketball in Edmonton.
“The U Sports Final 8 has a long and rich tradition, and is the pinnacle of post-secondary basketball in the country,” he said.
“All the fans in the city of Edmonton and province of Alberta are in for a treat being able to see this storied national championship in their backyard. We look forward to hosting and competing against the best teams in the country at what is always a highly competitive and entertaining tournament.”
UofA is also scheduled to host the 2021 Canada West Swimming Championship in November and the 2022 U Sports Wrestling Championship in February.