For the first-time in twelve-years, the Virginia Tech Hokies’ are marching on to the second round of the NCAA March Madness Tournament.
Canadian guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a sophomore guard from Toronto, Ontario was impressive in his second NCAA tournament game — finishing with a game-high 20 points to lead Hokies to a 66-52 win over the No. 13 Saint Louis Billikens.
Saint Louis had no answer for Alexander-Walker who continues to deliver for Buzz Williams, pulling down 6 rebounds and adding three steals on 8-of-13 shooting.
Virginia Tech last reached the second round of the tournament as a fifth seed in 2007 when it beat No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini before being taken down by No. 4 Southern Illinois.
Since Alexander-Walker’s arrival, the Hokies have improved tremendously — reaching the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament for the third straight year — a first in the program’s history.
Like many freshmen during their first dance, Alexander-Walker’s 15-point, 3-assist, 2 rebound effort wasn’t quite good enough to earn an invite to a second date as the Hokies couldn’t quite get over the hump — falling 86-83 to a talented Alabama Crimson Tide squad in the first round of the classic eight-nine match-up.
No. 4 Virginia Tech (ACC) will look to cool off the Flames of No. 12 seed Liberty — the Atlantic Sun Conference champions, in the round of 32.
Canadian Addison Patterson commits to Oregon Ducks
Canadian shooting guard Addison Patterson (Milton, Ont.) has committed to the Oregon Ducks.
The 6’7″, 205-pound guard from Bella Vista Prep in Arizona reclassified from the class of 2020, opting to fast track his NBA aspirations by committing to Dana Altman and the Ducks.
Patterson averaged 17 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists for Canada at the 2018 U17 World Cup in Argentina.
The four-star versatile wing is two-time Biosteel All-Canadian – In 2018, as 16-year-old and the youngest player on the court he point-up 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and took home the MVP award at the 2019 most valuable player award — dropping a game-high 24 points in 22 minutes, adding, 5 rebounds and 4 assists on 8-of-15 shooting.
The the recently turned 18-year old Canadian joins NCAA College Basketball’s top recruiting class that also boasts five-star recruits in center in N’Faly Dante and small forward C.J Walker. Oregon bowed out in the Sweet 16 to 2019 NCAA champions Virgina Cavaliers.
Patterson also averaged 16.5 points per game on the AAU circuit with Team WhyNot and had various offers including Florida, Arizona State, Illinois and Iowa, Oklahoma, Syracuse and more.
The Ducks have produced two recent Canadian NBA products in Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies) and Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors) and have been scooping-up Canadian basketball talent – earning commitments to the Ducks program from the likes of Abu Kigab (St. Catharines), Dylan Ennis (Brampton), Kenny Chery (Montreal).
Carleton Ravens and Syracuse Orange set to tangle once again
Defending champions Carleton University Ravens will once again tangle with the Syracuse Orange in a marquee match-up between U Sports and NCAA powerhouses.
The Ravens will make their second trip to the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 to wrap-up another jammed-packed 2019-2020 exhibition schedule.
The two schools first played back on August 23rd 2013 in Ottawa with Syracuse winning a thrilling 69-65 overtime victory as part of Syracuse’s Canada tour and the debut of Canadian point guard Tyler Ennis
The Orange also got the best of the Ravens, pulling-off a 88-76 win on November 2nd 2014.
The 2019-2020 will mark the debut season for new Ravens head coach Taffe Charles who takes over for Dave Smart who surprised the entire college basketball landscape by announcing his sudden retirement.
Montreal’s freshman Quincy Guerrier alongside junior point guard Howard Washington (Buffalo/NY) are the latest Canadian’s to suite-up for legendary player, turned hall-of-hame coach Jim Boeheim, who has been at the helm since 1976.
Boeheim is the king of getting Canadians in the NBA — having single-handily responsible for overseeing the growth of Leo Rautins, Kris Joseph, Tyler Ennis, Andy Rautins, and now Oshae Brissett and if it all pans out — potentially Guerrier as well.
Under the guidance of their own legendary hall-of-fame coach Dave Smart the Ravens played a Canadian record 59 games against NCAA teams – earning a more than respectable 41-51 record from 1999-2018.
The Ravens boasted an unreal and never to be broken 37-24 winning record against NCAA teams on Canadian soil but mustered-up only one victory in the USA — beating Providence 77-67 in October 28, 2017.
James Naismith Classic NCAA triple-header to feature big names
For the past 20 years NCAA basketball teams have been making the trip north of the border to take on Canadian U Sports teams in early August as part of the NCAA vs. U Sports exhibition series.
Now it looks like we are ready for the next step — regular season, non-conference games between NCAA schools on fertile Canadian basketball
According to multiple reports, and now
Sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame — the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (A-10) will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big 10). The Buffalo Bulls (MAC) will face the Harvard Crimson (Ivy) and the Tennessee Volunteers (SEC) will square off against the Pac 12 champions Washington Huskies.
A total of six Canadian’s could be featured in the marque homecoming event including, Rutgers’ Eugene Omoruyi (Rexdale, Ont.), Harvard’s Danilo Djuricic Brampton, Ont.), and Luka Sakota (Oakville, Ont.). The Crimson also features Ottawa, Ont. duo
Omoruyi a 6’7″, 234-pound bruising senior forward is coming off of his best season — leading the Scarlet Knights in scoring and rebounds at a respective 13.8 and 7.2 per game.
Noah Kirkwood (6’7, 215 lbs) guard had a productive freshman season with 11.1 rebounds, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists as the Crimson (18-11, 10-4 Conf) just missed out on the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament with a close loss to Yale in the conference title game.
The Buffalo Bulls’ are coming off their most successful season in the program’s history with an outstanding 32-4, 16-2 record and a six-seed in the West region.
The marquee match-up pits the Tennessee Volunteers against the Washington Huskies. Tennessee finished second in the SEC with a strong 31-6, 15-3 campaign for head coach Rick Barnes – bowing out to Purdue in the Sweet 16.
The Huskies, although not a traditional Canadian destination, will become the first NCAA men’s basketball team to make back-to-back trips to Canada.
In 2018 the Vancouver Showcase tipped off — bringing four NCAA men’s (Washington, Santa Clara, Minnesota, Texas A&M) and eight women’s basketball team’s to the west coast of Canada — marking the first time NCAA division one games played in Canada counted as non-conference records.
With Toronto continuously out-churning the mecca (New York City) and other traditional American powerhouses for quality NCAA and NBA basketball prospects — it makes more than dollars and cents — much like the Empire Classic — to ensure that the northern city that never sleeps has it’s annual NCAA regular season dosage.
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