March Madness update: Six Canadians remain
March Madness kicked off last Thursday with over 25 Canadians having a chance of leading their teams to the national title. Now only six remain.
An upset-filled first few rounds (the Madness) led to the elimination of almost all of the teams with Canadians on their roster. The only teams remaining who have Canadian players are Kentucky, Gonzaga, Oklahoma and Utah.
Canadians to keep watching
Kentucky (Midwest #1): Trey Lyles – F
Gonzaga (South #2): Kevin Pangos – G, Dustin Triano – G, Kyle Wiltjer – F
Oklahoma (East #3): Dinjiyl Walker – G
Utah (South #5): Dallin Bachynski – C
Kentucky forward Trey Lyles helped lead his top-ranked team to a couple of lop-sided victories. Lyles contributed 10 points and six rebounds versus Hampton in the second round and then recorded a double double (11 points, 10 rebounds) against Cincinnati. His Wildcats are looking to take down West Virginia to remain undefeated on the season, as their record now sits at 36-0.
Gonzaga has three Canadians on their roster, which is more than any other team left in the tournament. Guard Kevin Pangos and forward Kyle Wiltjer led the Bulldogs to wins over North Dakota State and Iowa. Wiltjer scored 23 points in the first game and followed that up with 24 against Iowa. Pangos chipped in 18 points against North Dakota State and scored 16 in the victory over Iowa. Freshman guard Dustin Triano, son of Canadian men’s national team head coach Jay Triano, has yet to see any playing time. Gonzaga is favourited over fourth-round opponent UCLA.
Utah centre Dallin Bachynski didn’t play during Utah’s second-round victory over S.F. Austin, but was instrumental in the Utes’ third-round 75-64 win over Georgetown. The seven-footer scored nine points and added eight rebounds in his 22 minutes of play. Utah will face South Region top seed Duke in the next round.
Junior guard Dinjiyl Walker only played a couple of minutes in each of Oklahoma’s first two games. In his limited time so far, Walker is 1-1 from the field, having dropped a big three-pointer in the Sooners’ third round win over Dayton. Oklahoma takes on Michigan State in the fourth round.
Canadians who made an impact before exiting
Several of the Canadian players whose teams didn’t make it past the opening weekend of March Madness still had a significant impact for their teams.
Junior forward Dyshawn Pierre followed up an impressive run last year by helping push his Dayton Flyers into the third round this year. Pierre dropped nine points in the first-round matchup with Boise State then added 20 points in the win over Providence before sinking 10 points in the loss to Oklahoma.
Dylan Ennis, a Junior guard for Villanova, was huge for the Wildcats in their second-round blowout of Lafayette, contributing 16 points and five assists in 29 minutes of action. He seemed to lose his touch in their third-round game though, only managing to score six points, sinking just two of his 12 shots.
Kenny Chery couldn’t lead his Baylor Bears out of the second round, losing a heart-breaking 57-56 decision to Georgia State. The starting point guard only made three of his nine shots. He had nine points and six assists.
The fourth round of March Madness takes place Thursday and Friday, with the fifth round being played on Saturday and Sunday. All of the games on TSN.