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2019 Naismith Classic brings college basketball to Toronto without Syracuse

#CanadasCollegeTeam needs to be involved in 2020

NBA: Playoffs-Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that we here at TNIAAM believe that the Syracuse Orange are truly #CanadasCollegeTeam. From Leo Rautins to Oshae Brissett the GTA has provided the Orange with some talented players for years. So when we heard that the 2019 Naismith Classic was going to be held in Toronto and Syracuse wasn’t participating we politely stopped eating our poutine and started penning our response.

How can there be a college basketball event in Toronto and Syracuse isn’t participating? The Buffalo Bulls and St. Bonaventure Bonnies make sense as two of the “hosts” but inviting that fake orange squad from Knoxville...and to have them play the Washington Huskies. Dis que ce n’est pas si Hop! Ce n’est pas bien!

This is an opportunity that Syracuse should have been eager to take part in... but maybe 2019 wasn’t the right year.

With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been advantageous for Syracuse to swap the NIT Tipoff for the Naismith Classic (especially given the underwhelming NIT field) — even if it wouldn’t have been for a game against Washington. I know we want to see that game but I find it hard to believe that either Hop or Boeheim would agree to play each other right now.

So instead of adding another stamp to their passports this Fall, Syracuse will be Brooklyn-bound and hopefully faring better than last November’s trip to the Big Apple. Let’s hope that the Naismith folks decide to make Toronto a frequent location, and that the Orange can grab a spot there in 2020.

There’s a big opportunity for Syracuse to create a stronger brand in Canada. It doesn’t mean that John Wildhack needs to move home football games to the Rogers Centre (home of the Blue Jays), but it would be beneficial for the Orange to explore opportunities for a number of sports to play in the shadow of the CN Tower.

“The ‘Cuse in the North” seems like something marketable... don’t you think, eh?