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TORONTO -- Long gone are the days when basketball fans tuned in to March Madness hoping to catch a fleeting glimpse of a Canadian. Jalen Ramsey Jersey . When the NCAA mens tournament tips off Thursday, look for numerous Canadians not only playing major minutes, but playing starring roles. "Whats a tangible barometer for us to hold onto is the number of our players who are playing prominent roles within these teams," said Rowan Barrett, assistant GM of Canadas national mens program. "Were not tuning in to hope our Canadian guy gets two or three minutes. Were seeing a number of teams where our players are either the player of the year in the whole conference, the leading scorer of the team, the freshman of the year or theyre on the Wooden list as one of the top players in the entire country." Canadians, Barrett said, are the driving forces behind their teams, and "thats got to be exciting for Canadians and exciting for Canadian basketball." A total of twenty-seven Canadians will suit up in the tournament. Of course, theres Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan, Ont., a favourite to go No. 1 overall in this years NBA draft. The Kansas Jayhawks star was the Big 12 freshman of the year. But while Wiggins has been dominating NCAA headlines, there are numerous other Canadians shining on the college stage, including Andrews brother Nick, who plays for the undefeated Wichita State Shockers. Theres Melvin Ejim, a small forward from Toronto and senior at Iowa State, who claimed AP Big 12 player of the year honours. Michigan sharp-shooter Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ont., was named the Big 10 player of the year. Of the top five shot-blockers in the NCAA, three of them are Canadian. Jordan Bachynski, a seven-foot-two centre from Calgary, leads with 4.13 blocks a night for Arizona State. Bachynski was the Pac 12 defensive player of the year. Khem Birch, a 6-9 forward from Montreal, is second in blocks with 3.76 for UNLV. Torontos Sim Bullar, a seven-foot-five centre for New Mexico State, is fifth with 3.41. "The good thing is when you have so many Canadians performing at a high level, it inspires other Canadians, it inspires the kids coming in and theyre thinking, OK, Im not just coming in here to play, Im coming here to lead, Im coming in here to be a driving force and the level and the bar continues to be raised," said Barrett, who played college basketball for St. Johns. "I think thats great for our game, for our athletes who do decide to play in the NCAA. Its a tangible show of the growth of our game." Theres Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ont., who is the starting guard at Syracuse. Ennis was one of 25 players on the mid-season list for the John R. Wooden award for the NCAAs top player, and is touted as an NBA first-round draft pick. There were some tense moments Sunday before the NCAA unveiled its March Madness bracket, Barrett said. The tournament is a chance for players to turn some heads prior to the NBA draft, but obviously not all of the 92 Canadians in Div. 1 would make the spring showcase. "Thats always exciting for sure, and especially when there are some of our Canadian players that we want to get into the tournament, that were not sure are going to get in, like a Dwight Powell at Stanford," said Barrett. Powell, from Toronto, was also on the mid-season Wooden award list. "You want him to get on that stage, he wants to get drafted this year, hes on the draft boards. So it was really exciting, exhilarating for him to get in there." Barrett predicts five Canadians may go in this years draft. Whats also exciting, he said, is that the college stars are also keen to play for Canada. "I think its great just the novelty of Canadians, to look and say, Hey thats great, there are Canadians there (in March Madness), but its a total other thing to see them donning the red and white and going out there and sweating and bleeding for their country as they give everything they have," he said. "Hopefully that will be the most inspirational thing for some of these younger players who are coming in and watching the game." Telvin Smith Jersey .The team had a meeting prior to facing Russia at the world junior hockey championship and got the effort theyve been looking for by defeating the Russians 4-1 to advance to the quarter-finals. Leonard Fournette Jersey .S. routed Sweden 7-0 Sunday to win its fourth straight title and seventh overall under-18 world championship. Olson earned his third shutout of the tournament and the Americans allowed only four goals in six games to set an International Ice Hockey Federation under-18 record. SALVADOR, Brazil -- Tim Krul came on as a substitute in the final minute of extra time and then saved two penalties in a 4-3 shootout victory over Costa Rica on Saturday, giving the Netherlands a spot in the World Cup semifinals. Krul saved spot kicks from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana after the match had finished 0-0. "We had a lot of chances but it didnt go in," Krul said on Dutch television. "Then I come in, stop two penalties and here we are." In another stroke of tactical genius at this years World Cup, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal pulled Jasper Cillessen moments after the Ajax goalkeeper had saved a shot from Marcos Urena in extra time. "The trick is good," said Krul, who plays for Newcastle. "A lot of preparation went into it." The Dutch team will next face Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday in Sao Paulo. Krul looked super confident during the shootout at the Arena Fonte Nova, saving the second and fifth penalties by diving to his left and sticking out his hand. When Krul stopped Ruizs penalty, Cillessen, watching fromm the sideline, punched the air in celebration. A. J. Cann Jersey. When he saved the second to win the match, Cillessen out-sprinted the rest of the bench to get to Krul, who was already being mobbed by jubilant teammates who had watched from the halfway line. Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas had kept his team in the match with a string of great saves in the first half and again in extra time. When Wesley Sneijder twice beat him late in regulation and again in the second half of extra time, the woodwork made the stop. Sneijder hit the post with a free kick in the 80th minute and sent a curling shot over Navas and off the crossbar before the penalty shootout. At the end, however, Navas could not stop any of the four Dutch penalties as veterans Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt all scored. The Krul substitution will only boost Van Gaals reputation as a coach who leaves nothing to chance and who has a golden touch with replacements. And it kept his tenure with the Netherlands alive for two more matches before he becomes the manager at Manchester United next season. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '