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.
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.
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!
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.