Wigginton gets his chance in NCAA's March Madness

Nova Scotia has sent five players to the NCAA men's basketball tournament and two of them are brothers.

North Preston's Lindell Wiggington, a second-year guard, became the fifth on that list this week when the Iowa State Cyclones won the Big 12 tournament championship, defeating the Kansas Jayhawks in the final, to win a direct berth into the national championship tournament.

Iowa State, seeded fifth in its bracket, will begin its run to the Final Four on Friday against the 12th-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in Tulsa, Okla.

Lindell Wigginton joins older brother, Rodell, as Nova Scotians to get a chance at the NCAA title. Rodell Wigginton went twice with the Buffalo Bulls.

Lindell Wigginton played a key role in allowing the Cyclones to advance. He had 17 points to lead the team in scoring in Saturday's victory over Kansas.

Canadians pace Cyclones

By scoring 42 points in three games, Wigginton was named to the Big 12 all-tournament team. Another Canadian playing for Iowa State, Marial Shayok of Ottawa, was named MVP.

Wigginton dreamed of playing in the tournament as a child growing up in Nova Scotia. He pursued his dream by attending high school in the U.S.

He considered leaving Iowa State at the end of his rookie season to enter the NBA draft, but chose to return to the Cyclones for a second season.

It wasn't a perfect season in 2018-19.

He is playing his best basketball now after missing two months with an ankle injury and losing his starting spot. But he has excelled coming off the bench.

Wigginton had an outstanding freshman season last year on a weak Iowa State team when he averaged more than 16 points per game. He is averaging 13.5 points per game this year, but played fewer minutes per game.

The Associated Press

Wigginton and Shayok aren't the only Canadian players in the tournament.

Toronto's R.J. Barrett of Duke University is expected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NBA draft. Barrett teamed up with Zion Williamson to lead the Blue Devils to the ACC title, deemed by many as the toughest conference in U.S. college basketball.

Barrett and Wigginton were teammates in 2017 when Canada won the world under-19 men's basketball championship.

There are 21 Canadians in this year's tournament. Only five Canadians have won the NCAA Division 1 title.

Lindell Wigginton's mind is always on another brother, Tyson James Bundy, who died in a car crash eight years ago at age 19. Lindell's social media accounts have used the hashtag R.I.P. Fern, Bundy's nickname.

Bryson Johnson (Bucknell), Chris Johnson (St. Bonaventure) and Corey Hallett (Monmouth) are the other Nova Scotians to play in the tournament. Hallett also went with Central Michigan, but didn't get to play.

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