The long wait is over as the University of Regina Cougars men’s basketball team tip off Friday night to begin their post-season run.

The fifth ranked Cougars host the 12th ranked Mount Royal Cougars in a winner-takes-all game to open up the playoffs.

With a win, the U of R Cougars will move on to the quarter-finals next weekend in Saskatoon against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

“It’s a one-game series so it’s always a bit up to luck,” said U or R Cougars guard Kornel Tokolyi. “But we are playing well and we are confident.”

The U of R and Mount Royal never met in the regular season. This is the first time these two teams have met since January of 2018.

“We did play them last year so some of the guys have some familiarity there,” said U of R Cougars head coach Steve Burrows.

“But they’re a well-coached team, they’re big and athletic. They’re a veteran team which always presents some challenges so this time of year in our league, anyone still playing can beat anyone.”

Burrows said his team has scored by committee this season, with not one player sticking out as a star.

However, one player that has really stepped up his game is forward Carter Millar.

Millar red-shirted last season due to a back injury, but has rebounded this season after a slow start.

Before the Christmas break, Millar was averaging about nine points per game. He caught fire in January when his average went up to 14 points per game.

“Once I started to shoot a little more the ball was actually starting to go in,” Millar said.

“Because before that I would shoot a bit but I just wasn’t making any of the shots and then we played in Victoria and I had two games where I had about 15 and 13 I think.”

The Cougars finished the Canada West schedule with a home split against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, losing 102-97 on Feb. 1 and winning 96-88 on Feb. 2.

Based on reporting by CTV’s Claire Hanna