CHICAGO --- After 150 league games on the men's basketball side and 126 games on the women's side, only three things are certain in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference heading into the final Saturday of the regular season, Cardinal Stritch University is the No. 1 seed and Saint Xavier University is the No. 2 seed for next week's CCAC Men's Basketball Tournament and University of St. Francis is the No. 6 seed and Indiana University South Bend is the No. 7 seed for the women's league tournament. All 21 other seeding positions are still up in the air, including 11 of 12 spots on the women's side.
The spotlight will shine the brightest at Roosevelt University's recently-completed Goodman Center, where host Roosevelt (23-6, 18-3 CCAC) and Purdue University Calumet (20-7, 17-4) will battle for the women's basketball regular-season title at 1 p.m. Roosevelt has already locked up a share of its first-ever crown, but a win by Purdue Calumet would split the title and give the Peregrines the No. 1 seed in next week's single-elimination tournament and an automatic berth in the NAIA II National Tournament based on tie-breaking rules. You can follow all the action live at http://ustream.tv/channel/roosevelt-lakers-sports-network/.
Three other teams – Cardinal Stritch (23-6, 16-5), Olivet Nazarene University (21-7, 16-5) and Saint Xavier University (23-5, 16-5) - will be battling for a first-round bye, as well, in next week's tournament as possibly the No. 2 or 3 seed depending upon how Purdue Calumet fares on Saturday. If the Peregrines win, the three teams will be up for the third spot if each of them win. If the Peregrines fall, a four-team tie could need to be broken with the Nos. 2-4 seeds gaining a first-round bye next week.
On the men's side, Cardinal Stritch (26-3, 22-1) has already guaranteed itself a share of its fifth straight league title and can win it outright at home Saturday with a victory over Calumet College of St. Joseph, which faced Cardinal Stritch in the CCAC Division II men's championship game one year ago.
Saint Xavier (25-4, 21-2), one game in back of the Wolves, would need a victory at Holy Cross College on Saturday and some help from Calumet St. Joseph to gain a share of the league crown.
In either case, Cardinal Stritch has already earned the automatic bid to the NAIA II National Tournament by virtue of the conference tiebreaker rules.
St. Francis (19-10, 15-8) and Indiana South Bend (18-11, 15-8), meanwhile, both have their eyes latched on the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in next week's tournament. Indiana South Bend gains the upper hand if the Titans beat Trinity International on the road. The Saints need a victory over Olivet Nazarene and a loss by Indiana South Bend to gain the advantage.
"It, no doubt, makes for an interesting Saturday," said CCAC interim commissioner Dave Laketa. "With the league playing a double round-robin format this year, you would have thought that there would have been a little more separation between the teams.
"To have 21 of the 25 spots for next week's tournaments still up in the air with one league date left is really unfathomable. It should be fun not only on Saturday, but for next week's tournaments, as well."
Check out the links on the CCAC web site (www.ccacsports.com) to find out which games have a live audio or video feed of Saturday's 12 conference games being played.
CCAC Tournament pairings will be announced on the league web site Sunday morning at 9 a.m.