Written by Mike Beasley
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Staff & Faculty
It will soon be that time of year again when the Carleton Ravens’ men’s basketball team welcome some of the best NCAA squads to Canada and the Raven’s Nest.
The Ravens have won four consecutive CIS titles and been crowned national champions 10 of the last 12 seasons.
They’re an astounding 292-14 since 2000.
Last August, Carleton beat eventual Final Four team Wisconsin and led former 2013-14 No. 1 team Syracuse by 15 in the second half before losing in overtime.
Carleton also had a respectable road loss to NCAA Tournament team Cincinnati in exhibition play last fall and the
Ravens also beat Texas Christian University and Towson at home last summer.
Carleton is once again hosting four Division I schools for exhibition match-ups in August.
“The Can-Am Shoot-out is a great opportunity for our guys to go up against a very high level of competition,” said Dave Smart, Ravens head coach.
“I’m very excited that these NCAA Division I teams are making the trip up to play in Canada. It will give our fans a fantastic opportunity to witness a high calibre of play.”
The Ravens will begin their cross border exhibition schedule with a game against the Indiana Hoosiers on August 11th.
Carleton then hosts the Vermont Catamounts on August 12th followed by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Flames on August 14th.
The University of Memphis Tigers come in for two games against Carleton on August 16th and August 19th. Tigers head coach Josh Pastner has a lot of respect for the Ravens and their basketball program.
“The most important thing about putting this trip together was finding great competition,” Pastner said.
“We’ll face teams that run really good stuff, and if we don’t play well, we can get beat. But, it will be good for us to face that level of competition this summer.”
The Ravens started playing NCAA opponents in 1999 when they traveled to Richmond, Kentucky to take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
In August 2003, the Ravens welcomed the Western Carolina Catamount to Carleton to start the tradition of hosting American universities, which still lives on today.
With ten CIS titles under their belt the Carleton Ravens are making headlines in the United States.
In an online article, NBC Sports, the American broadcaster thinks so highly of the Canadian men’s basketball powerhouse they are comparing the Ravens to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and their championship teams of the 1960’s and 70’s.
“Simply put, Carleton is making a John Wooden-at-UCLA type of run right now in the CIS,” said Scott Phillips, writer for NBC Sports.
This is how the comparison breaks down. Carleton has 10 national titles in the last 12 years UCLA has 11 in school history. UCLA won 7 straight championships from 1967 to 1973. The Ravens captured five straight national championships from 2002-2007.
Carleton grabbed national honours once in again in 2009. This past March Carleton made it four titles in a row with their recent winning run starting in 2010-2011.