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Canada Basketball – TORONTO, ON (March 20, 2019) – The 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament is almost upon us and Canadian college hoops fans will have plenty to cheer about as 24 players from North of the border are involved.

Click here for a complete list of Canadian players and schedule of games.

Mississauga native R.J. Barrett and the Duke Blue Devils enter the tournament as ACC champions and the No. 1 seed in the East region.  Barrett is coming off a historic season in which he established a new Duke freshman single-season scoring record and ACC freshman single-season scoring record after averaging 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists.  He was also named to Sporting News’ All-American First Team and the All-ACC First Team.

Brandon Clarke will look to lead Gonzaga to their first NCAA championship as the Bulldogs open the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the West on Thursday.  Born in Vancouver, Clarke averaged 16.5 points per game and ranked tied for fourth nationally with a .693 field goal percentage.  After missing last season transferring from San Jose State, Clarke’s 3.1 blocks per game have him firmly established as a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist.

Sophmore Nickeil Alexander-Walker has played a major role this season for the Hokies as Virginia Tech appears poised for a deep run as they also chase their first NCAA title in program history.  Alexander-Walker comes into the tournament averaging career highs in points (16.6), rebounds (4.1), assists (4.0) and steals (1.9).

Michigan Wolverines freshman Ignas Brazdeikis turned heads this season as the he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.  Brazdeikis was also made an All-Big Ten Second Team selection after averaging 15.1 points and 5.2 rebounds this season for the Wolverines.

12 of the 24 players in the 2019 NCAA tournament have represented Canada internationally.  Most recently, Barrett and Florida Gators guard Andrew Nembhard played for Canada last summer at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.  Prince Oduro and Lindell Wigginton, along with Barrett, were members of Canada’s historic gold medal winning team at the 2017 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.

Marcus Carr (Minnesota), Koby McEwen (Marquette) and Prince Oduro (Mississippi State) are sitting out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

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About Canada Basketball
Canada Basketball is the National Sporting Organization for the sport of Basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball is respected worldwide and is recognized by the International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Government of Canada as the sole governing body of the sport of amateur basketball in Canada. Canada Basketball, a not-for-profit organization, represents all basketball interests, provides leadership, coordination and direction in all areas of the sport of basketball.

Contact:  

Canada Basketball: Matthew Walker, 289-244-9993, mwalker@basketball.ca