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Nike Marches Into NCAA Madness, Taking NBA Stars Back To School

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Nike Marches Into NCAA Madness, Taking NBA Stars Back To School

Get your brackets ready…it’s March!

Madness right? It only seems like yesterday we were ringing in the New Years or season. Still Bracketology is so crazy right now even President Obama gets involved from the Situation Room. But when you write your predictions out from your dorm make sure you sign it with a swoosh.

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Nike just keep doing it when it comes to the game that doesn’t stop!

The leading sports apparel company that brought you the Air of Jordan aren’t short of endorsers. With everyone from Kobe to the King making their own Lion and Snake swoosh symbol signatures. But leaving the NBA behind somewhat for the month of basketball that is dominated by college hoops, Nike have a special NCAA campaign laying claim to these weeks.

Getting ready for the Big Dance in Houston, Texas, Nike with a hint of a Team Flight print advert, throwback testament are taking some of the NBA’s youngest and best stars back to a time when these young princes were just cinderellas looking for the ball in a month that turns students into heroes.

This years number one draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves Karl Anthony-Towns is back repping for his University of Kentucky like it was last March and he was still trying to cut down nets after almost going unbeaten. The potential Rookie of the Year is joined in big U.K blue by fellow Wildcat alumnus DeMarcus Cousins who now relates to the throne as a King in Sacramento.

Those big stars are joined by the Golden State Warriors big third Draymond Green, as the Dub rocks his green Michigan Spartan duds. Standing alongside a player he faced in the NBA’s own court crazy, final playoff picture last season in the form of Cavalier Kyrie Irving who was the devil of a blue Duke player before Cleveland. The championship legendary, storied Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk represents for Gonzaga too for a sports brand that represents around 69% of the players participating in the flight for the Final Four in this following fortnight.

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Toronto’s very own Demar DeRozan (USC) of the Canadian Raptors and the player that should have won the Slam Dunk Contest in the 6 with his Orlando Magic Mascot vertical Aaron Gordon (Arizona) round out the magnificent seven players honoring their alumnus colors in this homage. Still as Michael Jordan gives way to Air Gordon you can’t forget the legends and UConn’s own Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, to go with Tennessee’s Tamika Catchings leads the WNBA greats marching towards the big brass band beat of a season of bleeding colours and creeds, face paint skin deep.

The magic of this game and it’s kings and queens…it’s a kind of madness!

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NCAA

Toronto NCAA basketball triple-header to feature big names

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Aj Lawson South Carolina Rutgers Set To Clash In Toronto Ncaa Regular Season Game
A.J Lawson - South Carolina Gamecocks

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 soil.

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According to multiple reports, a massive six-team, non-conference, regular-season triple-header clash is set for Saturday, November 16th, 2019 in Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena.

Sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame — the South Carolina Gamecocks (SEC) 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.

Eugene South Carolina Rutgers Set To Clash In Toronto Ncaa Regular Season Game
Eugene Omoruyi set to clash with South Carolina Gamecocks in Toronto – Photo: Rutgers

A total of seven Canadian’s could be featured in the marque homecoming event including, South Carolina’s standout freshman A.J. Lawson (Toronto), Rutgers’ Eugene Omoruyi (Rexdale, Ont.), Harvard’s Danilo Djuricic Brampton, Ont.), and Luka Sakota (Oakville, Ont.). The Crimson also features Ottawa, Ont. duo Noah Kirkwood and Corey Johnson. Buffalo’s Dominic Johnson (Windsor, Ont.) would round-out the potential list.

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.

Lawson a 6’6″ 172 lbs guard is currently testing the NBA Draft process after averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for head coach Frank Martin.

Noah Kirkwood Harvard Basketball NCAA Triple Header Clash
Noah Kirkwood controls the pace against Georgetown Hoyas – Photo: Harvard Athletics

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.

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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.

South Carolina had it’s up’s and down’s with a 16-16, 11-7 SEC conference record — Rutgers’ is looking to improve from their 14-17 record, 7-13 in Big 10.

Lamonte Turner Tennessee Volunteers Toronto NCAA Basketball Triple Header
Lamonte Turner & Tennessee Volunteers featured in Toronto NCAA Basketball Triple Header

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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NCAA

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Ionescu

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The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Ionescu
The Duck Stays Here...

There’s no business, like unfinished business.

Most great basketball stars take their smartphone penmanship to ‘The Players Tribune’ to announce a change of game and mind move to greener pastures, which seems to be the new trend like Kung Fu Kenny headbands. But not the green duck of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu. In a pen drop moment she dropped the mic as she made a declaration like Leonardo DiCaprio staring at all that love in the boardroom in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’.

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“I’m not f##### leaving!”

O.K. she didn’t say it quite like that. Rather more eloquently in the form of a love letter to her state and basketball mind. She may have that Eurostep stop on a dime from downtown that puts in that change and pops the button like James Harden. She may have film broke down by the mamba mentality of the one and only Kobe Bryant. Or articles wrote about her by this writers’ writing inspiration Shea Serrano of The Ringer. She may have even gone number one if she put in her draft card this year.

But the WNBA can wait.

Green with envy and legendary shades she may be the next great of this game like the Storm of Sue Bird to Breanna Stewart. She’s the type of player that’s so good to watch she could even get away with taking more steps than ladders like most of those NBA folks. But no! An inspired Ionescu is doing things the right way. After being made by Baylor, the ducks will quack again. And they will do so with their top billing. Sabrina will return for one last run. She’s got the rest of her playing career to be a WNBA legend for whatever team from the Sparks to Mercury picks her. But the Pac-12 Wade trophy winner has only got one last chance at a Final Four dance after the madness that is March.

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Just look at the above picture. She’s only got so long for this. To be a kid. She may be far from ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, but this maturing talent is still young. To be that again, we should just be happy she still has that chance. One chance to make the Ducks mighty again. To have those best years of your life with the best friends you’ll ever meet. These are her memories. Her signed sneakers and scissored nets. Who are any of us to take that away. We can wait. As her parquet paths next year to the big leagues will be like this season’s road to Zion.

The two time Nancy Lieberman award winner will take her L ready 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds averages to one last ride and stand in Oregon. Flying with the 18 record of the most career triple doubles in NCAA history. She won’t be in New York next month, but she’ll be writing in more history books next year as other teams bet it all on some bouncing balls. And if you think this game is all about the big league and the big payday, then this outstanding Oregon statement doesn’t give a duck.

“I won’t predict exactly how far we’re going to go….. but I’ll just say this. We have unfinished business. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

Time to get back to work and take everyone back to school.

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