Ottawa, Ontario It was Team Canada versus Team USA on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
Well, not exactly, but close enough.
Kansas University's defending NCAA champions and Carleton U's Ravens, who went 26-1 last year and have claimed five of the past six Canadian national titles, put on a classic show of international pride, which the Jayhawks ultimately won, 84-83.
"I didn't know if we could win this game, to be honest," KU coach Bill Self said after watching the Ravens swish an amazing 15 of 24 three-pointers to the Jayhawks' four of eight.
"Anytime you go 15-of-24 from three : that means they're playing very well. It's pretty amazing we won the game when they do that. They are smart, sound. They play like the teams we play. They're good."
The Ravens led, 14-4, early and 80-77 with 2:21 left.
Tyrel Reed, however, tied the game with a three from the corner, Cole Aldrich cashed a pair of free throws, and Sherron Collins snatched a steal and fed Travis Releford for a breakaway dunk as KU led, 84-80, at :56.
Releford, by the way, hit 10 of 11 shots and three of six free throws, good for 25 points.
Carleton's Michael Kenny hit a three - what else? - to cut the gap to a point with :41 left.
KU didn't score on its final possession. Sherron Collins (10 points) misfired in the lane and on a baseline stickback try, and Carleton came up with the rebound and called time at with 2.1 left.
Kenny missed a deep two-point try, straight on, at the buzzer, reminiscent of the Davidson game in the NCAA Tournament when KU survived at the end.
"Unfortunately, I was in the same position. I was guarding the guy (as he did against Davidson)," Collins said. "He missed it, and we got the win."
Collins hit five of 12 shots with one assist and four turnovers in 22 minutes.
It will be Collins' only game action in Canada. Self said KU's doctors cleared Collins (coming off arthroscopic left-knee surgery April 22) for 20 minutes, but Collins exceeded it by two minutes.
"That was his max," Self said. "He's not the Sherron we're used to seeing, but it was good to see him out there."
"I felt great," Collins said. "That was a great game. It reminded me of playing Texas."
KU survived the shootout, contested before 7,189 fans in the 20,500-seat arena, thanks in large part to Kansas City freshman Releford.
"I was real surprised," Self said, asked about Releford's performance. "Not that he's not a very good player. For the first day to put on the Kansas uniform and get 25 : I thought he was the best player in the game, and No. 42 for them is really good."
Aaron Doornekamp, who is considered the best player in Canada, hit five of 13 shots and eight of 10 free throws and scored 22 points with six assists and seven rebounds.
Releford obviously was enthused about his play.
"I guess I couldn't miss," Releford said. "It was one of those nights."
Sophomore Cole Aldrich, who scored 14 points the first half in helping KU to a 45-44 halftime advantage, finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in 33 minutes.
At one point, he plucked a steal at halfcourt and sprinted in for a vicious dunk.
"I was up for the challenge. I like when other people say, 'He's big and slow.' I try to prove them wrong," the 6-foot-11 Aldrich said.
"It was exciting to play a game like this before a great crowd. We were fortunate we won. They gave us a hell of a game."
Reed contributed 11 points, including his key three from the corner.
"It was a big shot, an important one. It was a great day," Self said of a doubleheader sweep of McGill University and Carleton.
KU will play University of Ottawa at 6 tonight at Montpetit Hall. Like Collins, Brady Morningstar will miss the game. Morningstar severely sprained his right ankle after hitting a jump shot with :01 left in the first half, giving KU the intermission lead.
"I didn't know how bad it was until I went to the locker room, and it was swollen," Morningstar said. "I was just glad to hit the shot. It gave us some momentum going into halftime in a competitive game."
¢ Please be quiet: Security twice had to tell the father of Carleton's Doornekamp to quit shouting comments at KU coach Bill Self from his front-row seats.
Self took it all in stride, even yelling some stuff back at the elder Doornekamp.
"That didn't bother me at all. I love it," Self said. "The crowd was very complimentary. I thought the whole deal tonight was great."
¢ Once a Jayhawk: Carleton University's president and vice chancellor is also a Jayhawk. Roseann Runte earned her masters and doctorate degree at KU.
¢ Long day: The University of South Alabama had a crazy Saturday in Ottawa. In the morning, Queen's University tripped the Jaguars, 102-94, in triple overtime. In an evening clash, the Jaguars downed the University of Ottawa, 72-70, in another nailbiter. KU will play Ottawa at 6 tonight at Ottawa's Montpetit Hall.