It’s A Bracket.
Beware the ides of March! It’s a kind of madness. With everyone seemingly thinking that the sports world revolves around the LeBron James decisions of the NBA, most forget the most storied season in the classic college calender. Most…that is! There are 30 teams in the National Basketball Association, but there are hundreds of more towns and alumnis in the United States of America all seeded and after the coveted crown of the NCAA. This is where legends are born and legacies are started, on these hollowed hardwood courts of different dynamics and patriotic floor to floor logos. From UCF’s beautiful blacktop court design to all the creative, court canvas imagery you seen on ESPN’s nightly tour through campuses. Still, it’s more than the grand design or trumpet proud instrumentation of the dear and devoted, painted up fans at the side of this court. Although thats where it all starts singing. It’s more than the pay to play debate or the bracketology of bragging rights and betting bluffs. This is the true, purity of the game in it’s greatest essence. More than money…something that carries much more meaning in any currency. Before the big-leagues and the big checks this is the ticket. Before growing up to the quote, on quote “real life”. These are the glory days of a community of education and the first group of friends that decide to come together as a team. They say that school days are the best days of your life and when it comes to these college years March is by far the best month for this sport. To get any realer or purer in this game, you’d have to take it back to the playgrounds of the streets…and UCF have already done that for you.
Who will take the court crown for their Ceaser and who will end up betrayed by the Baketball God’s like Brutus? Like a Shakespeare story this worlds stage will have all the players gunning for the top position. Balls will roll and nets will be cut, but after all is said and done who will be holding the scissors? Anyone whose been through the triumph and tears of this great game know there as many upsets as celebrations to the tune of Freddie Mercury’ singing ‘We Are The Champions’ with Queen. Who will be king in this terrific tournament? Man of the moment, Jabari Parker will have to wait for the draft for his biggest stage in basketball now the madness of this month have outted Duke after the went round for round with Mercer who showed them and the legendary Coach K no mercy. They “shocked the world” as the storied Kentucky Wildcats have vowed to do, clawing away at Kansas and making their NBA Rupp Arena alumni of Rajon Rondo, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Eric Beldsoe, John Wall, Derek Anderson, Walter McCarty, Tony Delk and many drafts more proud. Take a drive through the miles and miles of beautiful country in Kentucky and you can see the U.K. logos in every car, household or general store window…and as for the apparell it outfits everyone in a place thats powerful enough to have an NBA franchise but proud enought to know that Basketball begins, breathers and balls out with the ‘cats of Big Blue Nation. Unless your in Muhammed Ali’s home of Louisville, you can see what the mountain banners think of this.
This, however is the kind of beautiful rivarly and competitive spirit that makes this tournament and incarnation of basketball that influential and inspirational. All played out in television and uniformed up to the nines it all looks as professional as the biggest stage…and as a matter of fact it is exactly that. The big budget of the NBA may be the blockbuster, but the NCAA is like the indie hit thats worthy of the real awards. Sure you don’t see the names of players on the back of some jerseys but unlike some other job or extra-class there’s more credit here. They are more than just a number and you best believe the family of fans gathered around the television set for the biggest night of the week know who they are and welcome them into their household like their second name belonged to them. Some of these guys will graduate to the star statuses of the NBA, some will not. Some may bust, others may break out in a different way. Some may stay true to their community, whilst others may look for greener pastures. Some may have to work graveyard shifts on the full-time and others may join the factory assembly line to make end meat. Still, in this moment they are all together as one for the one thing that will live forever in the memories of their lifes moment like their framed jersey, whether there’s is raised to the rafters, or lowered to the bargain basement. Whether they meet Larry O’Brien or Larry the cable guy little seperates these one for all young men right now. They could be making a million or a dime in the next decade or dozen but what happens over the next few days will remain the best and most influential moments of their lives and careers.
It’s just that legendary. It’s beyond the hype or adverts. You don’t even need to see them to feel just how important this era is in this game and what this time every year does for this beautiful game of basketball that exists all over the world in many forms but does not ‘live’ quite like this. This is Basketballs superbowl, the real playoffs show here that between class and campus is where amazing truly happens. Tourists could go to New York and Los Angeles for their big game NBA experience, but travel across any town in the right time and you’ll see the history of hoops dribbled through the city from slapped on t-shirts to ingrained pride and love. The stadiums are just as epic, the formidable facilities have to be for the worlds greatest stage. Take a look from your hotel balcony in Nashville and you may see more than the city that Cash and the country of Dolly Parton built. Vanderbilt’s facility shows the Commodores play here for more than just 9 to 5 too like Lionel Richie’s roots. Across football, baseball and the rims that make the holy trinity of American sports complete universities unite around the games they play and the contests that make them champion. It’s a pure psychology down to a science that brings math and history students together. It’s box-score making moments that keep families invested in colleges even years after their grandkids have graduated. You could say it’s more than a game even if it is the roundball that brings them here. It’s the hometown heros that wear the name of their place of basketball birth across their chest with bumping, and jersey tugging pride, without carrying their own on their back. That’s where their teammates, town and legion of fans belong. This is why the legendary likes of Kobe Bryant have missed out on more than just the final years of their careers. This is why college logos are seen fashioned all around the world on peoples caps and sweats even if they don’t attend or understand. It’s more than just a look it’s a stronger vision than the NBA of Vitale shouting proud vitality. From the Big Ten’s to the Pac’s and the All-Americans to the Wooden awards this is what its all about. This is their moment…and yours too. It’s purely crazy! You don’t have to beware of the ides of March, you just have to see them. March Madness is the NCAA…and the NCAA is Basketball.
Syracuse Oshae Brissett delivers massive Rack Attack on Miami Hurricanes
Canadian Freshman and Syracuse Stud Oshae Brissett added to his growing and impressive highlight package with a massive rack attack and facial dunk on the face of Miami Hurricanes defender. The Mississauga, Ontario native is averaging a 14.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and is amongst college basketball finest talents. Brissett has started all the Orangemens’ 27 games to date and has racked up 11 double-doubles in the process. A skilled 6’8″ forward who has stardom written all-over him.
New wave of Canadian Freshmen making NCAA splash
There’s a new wave of rising Canadians basketball players making an early NCAA splash. Below we take a look at freshmen players that are making their mark on the college basketball landscape. Like previous years, look for most of the names on this list to become household names come March Madness and a select few to continue Canada’s NBA takeover.
Oshea Brissett – Syracuse Orange
Brissett has been arguably the best freshman in college basketball. The 6’8″, 210 lbs forward from Mississauga, Ontario is beasting the opposition, averaging 13.6 points per game, including a team-high 9.2 rebounds (55th in all of the nation.) A true special talent, he has already racked-up four double-doubles in his first eight games, missing two more by just a single rebound. Look for Brissett to continue his torrid start to season as he helps the Syracuse Orange make a run at a conference title in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Although early in the season, Brissett is looking more and more like a true one and done prospect. Expect a green room invitation come June 2018 at NBA Draft.
Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State Cyclones
Looking for stability at the guard position? Well, look no further than Lindell Wigginton. A true versatile bucket getter, with major hops (38″ vertical), he currently leads all Canadian freshmen in scoring at 16.3 points per game while contributing in other aspects with 4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia product is shooting a healthy 46.3 % from the field, 48.9% from three-pointers and has reached double-figures scoring in 7-of-9 games, including a season best 28-points, 7 rebound performance against Northern Illinois. Although, the tougher part of the Big 12 conference schedule remains, it is clear that in less than ten games Wigginton has solidified himself as a go to option in the fast paced Cyclones offensive system. Expect the 6’2″, 188 lbs guard to flourish all-season long as he looks to fulfill is long time dream of playing in the NBA.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Virginia Tech Hokies
Talk about talent. Standing 6’5″ tall, weighing-in at 210-pounds, is Toronto, Ontario freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker. A diamond in the rough find for head coach Buzz Williams and Virgina Tech. The Hokies, traditionally not a prime destination for top Canadian prospects is seeing just how special Alexander-Walker can be early-on. The 19-year-old kicked-off his NCAA career with scoring outbursts against Detroit Mercy (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Citadel (29 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and is an integral reason for the Hokies early season success. A knock-down shooter (.529%, FG% .477% 3-pointers) with a 7-footer wing-span Alexander Walker is averaging 14.4 per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. A triple-threat he is comfortable handling the rock as well as, dishing off no looks, as he is scoring.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky Wildcats
It’s hard to talk about Shai-Gilgenous-Alexander (6’6″, 180 lbs, Hamilton/ON) without mentioning the aforementioned Nickeil Alexander-Walker. After-all, both are cousins, their names resemble each other, their games even more. What-else, they played, dominated and caused headaches for coaches as a dynamic high school back-court duo for Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, winning a State title along the way. Now they find themselves on the biggest stage of college basketball doing similar things for highly respected basketball teams. Despite coming off the bench Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 28.2 minutes per game, good for second on a team that also features a bevy of NBA prospects, including Hamidou Diallo, P.J Washington. A efficient natural stat-stuffer he’s averaging 10.1 points, a team-high 4.4 assists per game along side 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.
Marcus Carr – Pittsburgh Panthers
A true floor general, Marcus Carr (6’1″, 185 lbs, Toronto/ON) has taken charge and ignited the Pittsburgh Panthers rebuilding offense. Carr’s strong play has propel the Panthers to a early four-game winning streak. The pass-first guard scored a career-best 23 points in a overtime win over St. Mary’s and has scored in double-digits in the five of the past six Panthers contests. Currently averaging 12 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds, including shooting a 48% from the field, 48.1% from downtown and Steve Nash like 921% from the charity stripe. Despite his size Carr is strong enough to finish through contact and loves to gets under your chin with defensive pressure.
Montreal’s Luguentz Dort commits to Arizona State Sun Devils
Five star Canadian Guard Lugentz Dort has committed to Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Dort a 6-5, 220lbs, product of Montreal, Quebec has been one of the most exciting Canadian Basketball prospects in recent years, combining raw speed, with gifted athletic ability, the the 2018 elite top prospect is expected to boast the Sun Devils credibility in a tough PAC 12 conference.
Dort narrowed down his list of top schools from Baylor, eventually settling with the upstart Sun Devils program that will help him transition from a two-guard to a more accomplished point-guard. After all, Coach Hurley knows a thing or two about playing the point, having played the position for the Duke Blue Devils in the early 90’s and over 269 games in the NBA.
— Luguentz Dort (@luguentz) October 19, 2017
— Athlete Institute (@AI_Academy) October 19, 2017
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