Title: Maple Madness: Your guide to Canadian players to watch at the NCAA Tournament
Date: March 19, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about all of the Canadians playing in the NCAA Tournament, potential high-CanCon games, and the NBA potential for some top Canadian prospects.
There are several ways to fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket. You can get really analytical, looking at the different models available and trying to come to objective likelihoods. You can go by gut feel based on the games you might have seen during the year and the great content at The Athletic you’ve read about teams. You can let your dog pick teams or your pet octopus or whatever.
There’s also the route of flimsy representation. For those in the U.S., this might mean taking an alma mater to go on a Cinderella run or being petty and picking your most hated school to get knocked out (this is invariably Duke). Few Canadians have that luxury. I like Marquette because I was accepted to their sports law program, and I never actually attended. These are the associations that drive my annual 70th-percentile (no better, no worse) finish in pools.
As Canadian basketball has grown, it’s offered a new rooting wrinkle for Canadian fans: There is an expanding Canadian presence in the tournament. Whether that drives your actual picks — Iowa State looks like a tasty north-side sleeper — or directs your viewing or is even just an ancillary curiosity, we’ve got you covered.
There are 20 Canadians (or dual-citizens) participating in the tournament this year, plus another five inactive but associated with tournament teams. There are also 21 Canadians in the women’s bracket. Particularly of note are Bridget Carleton (Iowa State) and Shay Colley (Michigan State), who both played with the senior women’s national team in the World Cup last summer.