Laval wins 2024 USport Men’s Basketball Championship

University of Laval (Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Laval Rouge et Or has won the 2024 USport Men’s Basketball Championship in Quebec City, Quebec on Sunday. Over the years, the Rouge et Or have dominated football with 11 Vanier Cup titles since 1999, but this is their very first university national championship title in men’s basketball.

In the 2024 USport Men’s Basketball National Championship gold medal game, Laval defeated the Queen’s Golden Gaels by a score of 77-71. Power forward Ismael Diouf of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec led Laval with 26 points. Other Rouge et Or players who reached double figures in points were point guard Steeve Joseph of Montreal, Quebec, who had 24 points, and forward Sidney Tremblay-Lacombe of Quebec City, Quebec had 10 points. Diouf actually had the double-double as he had 12 rebounds. He was one of two Rouge et Or players with 12 rebounds. The other was Haris Elezovic of Sherbrooke, Quebec.

History was also made on Sunday. That is because the Rouge et Or became the first ever eighth seed to win a Canadian University Men’s Basketball National Championship according to Edilson J. Silva of basketballbuzz.ca. The eighth seed was justified because the Rouge et Or had a poor regular season record of 12 wins and 20 losses and only qualified for the national championship because they were the host. In the quarterfinals, Laval upset the number one seed, University of Victoria Vikes 75-69 on Friday, and the fourth seed Dalhousie University Tigers 85-74 in the semifinals on Saturday. The Golden Gaels were the second seed.

Prior to the start of the tournament, Vikes guard Diego Maffia of Victoria, British Columbia was named the 2024 winner of the USport Men’s Basketball Player of the Year on Thursday. Maffia, who won the 2024 Mike Moser Memorial Trophy, averaged 26.7 points per game for the Vikes this season, but struggled defensively with a game-high six turnovers in the Vikes quarterfinal loss to the Rouge et Or.

 

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