2024 Men’s NCAA Tournament: The remaining four Canadians in the Sweet 16

The first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s March Madness have finished and the Sweet 16 has been set. 

The remaining 16 teams will play on Thursday – Friday (March 28-29) with the winners advancing to the Elite 8. 

Out of the 18 Canadians that entered the tournament, only four remain heading into the Sweet 16.

Zach Edey – Purdue Boilermakers 

The Boilermakers’ pursuit for their first NCAA championship is still alive after Zach Edey put on dominating performances in the first two rounds of the tournament. 

The Boilermakers’ handled both the Grambling State Tigers and the Utah State Aggies with ease, tallying 184 points in those two victories. 

Edey, who was eliminated in the round of 64 last year, has certainly changed the look of this Purdue team. 

The Purdue center displayed his talents putting up a stat line of 30 points, 21 rebounds, and three blocks against the Tigers and 23 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks against the Aggies. 

The reasons for his success are demonstrated throughout his physicality inside the paint, which has allowed him to make over 60% of his shots so far throughout the tournament. 

With double-doubles in his first two games, the college big man looks to prove once again that he is a force to be reckoned with. 

The Boilermakers’ take on their toughest challenge yet against Gonzaga’ Ryan Nembhard and the Bulldogs on Friday. 

Ryan Nembhard – Gonzaga Bulldogs

When the former Creighton guard transferred to Gonzaga before the beginning of his junior year, a lot of questions were raised whether or not his success would transpire to a Gonzaga team built around sharing the ball. 

To answer that question, the Bulldogs currently find themselves in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, with confident wins over McNeese State and Kansas. 

Although Nembhard’s success hasn’t come directly from scoring points, his ability to stay in games without getting into foul trouble has helped leverage Gonzaga over potential upsets in the first two rounds of the tournament. 

Playing 31 minutes against McNeese (second-most on team) and 39 minutes against Kansas (most in the game) is a true example of the athleticism he brings to the guard position. 

Nembhard differentiates himself from other college guards by his ability to move the ball to his teammates quickly and precisely, tallying 9 and 12 assists in his last two games respectively.

The Bulldogs’ take on Zach Edey and the Boilermakers in the hopes to advance to the Elite 8 and continue their path toward the schools first NCAA championship.

Quincy Guerrier – Illinois Fighting Illini 

Making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2006, Illinois is a dangerous third-seed coming out of the East Region. Led by NCAA star Terrence Shannon Jr. the Fighting Illini are trying to secure their first NCAA tournament championship in their 34th tournament appearance.

 Illinois small forward Quincy Guerrier has done exactly what the team expects of him and that is being effective in a much smaller role. His ability to play the small forward position effectively has positively impacted the team’s rebounding, which currently ranks amongst the top ten in the NCAA this season. 

After notching 10 points and 6 rebounds in just 20 minutes against Duquesne in the second round, the Canadian has stepped up big time when it matters most. Guerrier and the Fighting Illini face off against the Iowa State Cyclones this Thursday.

Ryan Young – Duke Blue Devils 

After the retirement of Mike Krzyzewski, (Coach K) head coach of the Duke Blue Devils for 42 years, questions arose whether or not their new coach Jon Scheyer would still be able to bring success to a highly commemorated program. 

Now in his second year, Scheyer has won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championship once, has made the NCAA Tournament in both years and has their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2022.

Senior Blue Devils’ center Ryan Young has not had it easy this season with most of his minutes being taken away from Sophomore center Kyle Filipowski. However, that hasn’t stopped the Canadian big man from making an impact for his team this tournament. 

Duke’s decisive 93-55 win over the 12th seed James Madison showcased what the 6 ft 10 player can do on all ends of the floor, totaling a stat line of 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in just 15 minutes. 

Despite a heart-breaking second round exit to the Tennesse Volunteers in last year’s tournament, the Blue Devils take on the Houston Cougars this Friday in the hopes to achieve their first Elite 8 appearance since 2022.

Canadians eliminated in Round of 64-32:

Emanuel Miller – TCU – 

Aden Holloway – Auburn – 

Tyrese Samuel – Florida –

Luke Hunger – Northwestern –

Kobe Elvis – Dayton – 

Issac Jack – Dayton – 

Jaden Campbell – Samford – 

Sam Thomson – Colgate – 

TJ Hurley – Vermont – 

Sam Alamutu – Vermont –

Marquese Josephs – Grand Canyon – 

Enoch Kalambay – Western Kentucky – 

Kalion Nicholls – Duquesne – RD32 – 

Eli Djordjevic – Long State Beach – 

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