In a way, you have to a feel a little bad for the Team USA basketball program. When they win win a tournament like the U19 World Cup, no one notices. But when they lose at the same tournament, it’s big news.

Well Team USA, coached by John Calipari, indeed lost Saturday, falling 99-87 to Canada in the U19 semifinals. It was the Americans’ first loss at the U19 World Cup since 2011, which was also the last time the Americans were not reigning champs at every men’s age group.

The Canadians were led by R.J. Barrett, the consensus best player in the Class of 2019 and arguably the best prospect to ever come from Canada. Only 17 years old, Barrett put up 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and dominated Team USA from start to finish.

While Americans and the Team USA program will quickly forget about this loss and get back to winning tournaments, Saturday was a huge day for Canadian hoops. Not only did Canada reach its first ever U19 final, it got there by beating their rivals to the south.

Canadian coach Roy Rana, head coach at Ryerson University, is not quite as famous or accomplished as Calipari, but that didn’t stop him from leading his squad over a Team USA group filled with high school and college stars.

Canada will move on to the tournament finals against Italy on Sunday.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.