This week marks the pinnacle of the collegiate basketball season as both the NCAA March Madness and the CIS Men's Basketball Final 8 kick off.
Canada Games alumni will play important roles for their respective teams in both tournaments.
In March Madness action, 2009 Canada Summer Games alumniJarryn Skeete and Rodell Wigginton will look to help the 14th seed Buffalo Bulls pull off a major upset as they take on 3rd seed Miami.
Both players are integral components of the Bulls lineup seeing as they are both seniors and leaders of the team.
Naz Long's season was cut short earlier this season when he deemed that his surgically repaired hip was too sore to continue. Instead, he now acts as one of the team's emotional leaders.
Whether it be organizing players-only sessions, giving pep talks, greeting players during timeouts, or just rebounding for his teammates during warm-ups, Naz is a calming presence for the Iowa State Cyclones who are coming into the March Madness tournament as a fourth seed in the Mid-West.
In the CIS Men's Basketball Final 8, Canada Games alumni are represented in each of the eight teams.
Starting off with No. 1 seed Ryerson, Aaron Best represented Team Ontario at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in PEI.
The No. 2 seed and reigning five-time national champion Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists) have three Canada Games alumni in Ryan Mitchell (SK) , Stanley Mayambo (NB) and Glenn Thelemaque(ON). All three competed at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke.
No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA bronze medallists) have two Canada Games alumni in Calvin Epistola (2013-ON) and Malick Turenne(2013-QC).
No. 4 Calgary Dinos (Canada West champs) are comprised of Corey Hauck (BC) , Lucas Praught (AB) and Matt Latkeman (BC).
No. 5 McGill Redmen (RSEQ champs) have only one Canada Games alumni; Abdul Atta who represented Team Quebec in 2013.
No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champs) also are comprised of just one Canada Games alumni ; Adam Karmali, a Team BC alumnus who competed in 2013.
No. 7 Thompson Rivers WolfPack (Canada West finalists) have two 2009 alumni on their team in Reese Pribilsky and Joshua Wolfram. Both competed for BC.
No. 8 UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West bronze medallists) are comprised of two Canada Games alumni; Elijah Campbell-Axson(2013-BC) and Jordan Jensen-Whyte (2009-AB).