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‘The atmosphere is going to be wild’: Mustangs host Brock tonight for trip to Basketball Nationals

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Aryan Sharma expects Alumni Hall to be rocking for Wednesday’s OUA Semi final against Brock.

A win, and Western’s men’s basketball team will earn a berth in the U Sports National Championship tournament.

“Honestly, the atmosphere is going to be wild,” said Sharma, playing in his final season with the Mustangs. “I think students are back for reading week and there is a lot of buzz about this game. So it’s definitely going to be an electric atmosphere. We’re looking forward to packing the stands.”

Having been to Nationals in 2020 with the Mustangs, Sharma knows that’s how he wants to finish his OUA career.

“Personally, for me, I think it would be a fairy-tale ending to my career here at Western,” said Sharma, who has averaged 18.1 points per game this year. “It would also just reinforce the fact that we’re one of the premier programs in Canada.”

Western went 16-6 in the regular season, earning the OUA West title. The team has a great mix of veterans and young talent.

“We put some recruiting classes back-to-back to back and I think we’re starting to see some of the fruits of that recruiting,” said Brad Campbell, the Mustangs head coach since 2006.

“We have a bunch of high character guys who are focused and want to win, and that’s been a formula for success this season.”

The Western Mustangs practice ahead of their OUA Semi-final matchup with Brock Wednesday. The winner earns a berth the U Sports National Tournament in Quebec City in March (Dwayne Oud/CTV News London)Western will face a Brock team which they already beat 81-61 earlier this month. However the Mustangs believe you can throw that result out the window for tonight.

“They are definitely playing better,” said Tyson Dunn, the Mustangs point guard who led the OUA in assists. “They are very strong as they just won two playoff games against Carleton and Ottawa in Ottawa. They are athletic and crash the glass well but we match up well with them at both ends of the floor.”

A win Wednesday night would earn Western a berth in the university Sports National Tournament for just the second time in 15 years. It will be played in Quebec City March 8-10.

The team would also play to hoist their its Wilson Cup Trophy since 2002.

“Just to be in this position to host the game to qualify for the national championships is amazing,” said Campbell.

“Hopefully we’ll have a big supportive crowd to help. To be able to potentially to get to another Wilson cup and play for a championship is why we do this. It’s why I do it, it’s why all our players do it and they’re just really excited. This is what we put in all the work for,” he said.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall on Lambton Drive. 

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