The sweet sixteen is set in stone and many favourites will not be in the picture. This includes #1 Wichita State and #2 Kansas who were stunned in the round of 32. The first half of Sunday’s action was full of close basketball games, however, the evening took a bit of a dip with a few blow-outs. Lets see how our Canadians did!
Andrew Wiggins (Vaughan, ON) had a tough pill to swallow after his Kansas Jayhawks could not contend with Standford’s size losing 60-57. The freshmen had a disappointing game by his standards as he only had 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting from the floor. Wiggins did grab 4 rebounds added an assist a steal and 2 blocks. Stanford’s Dwight Powell (Toronto, ON) had an excellent game recording 15 points, 7 rebounds and one assist, steal and block. His fellow Canadian Stefan Nastic (Thornhill, ON) was the key to the Cardinals win as his size and presence around the rim made it difficult to for the Kansas players to finish inside. Nastic had 10 points on 4 of 5 from the field 4 rebounds and a block.
Melvin Ejim and Naz Long helped Iowa State push passed UNC in a 85-83 thriller. DeAndre Kane’s made layup with 1.6 seconds left gave the Cyclones the eventual 2 point win and the first trip to the sweet 16 for the program since 2000. Ejim was fantastic scoring 19 points and collecting 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, Naz Long (Mississauga, ON) is becoming one of the most clutch shooters in the tournament. With .50 seconds left in the game and the Cyclones down three, Long buried a three tying the game at 81 a piece. Long is a confident player thanks to his beautiful shooting stroke and knack for making big shots in crunch time. He registered 12 points on 4 of 8 from the three point line.
Wichita State’s perfect season came to screeching stop Sunday as Kentucky beat the Shockers 78-76. Nick Wiggins (Vaughn, ON) and Chadrack Lufile (Burlington, ON) combined for 11 points off the bench. However, the clutch shooting of Wildcats’s James Young had the Shockers back on their heels in the final minute of the game. The loss was a heartbreaking one as many were hoping the mid major school could blow pass the young guns of Kentucky.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, ON) had 17 pts and Kenny Chery (Montreal, QB) chipped in 14 as Baylor pounded Creighton 85-55. Baylor’s defense was quick to the ball, and contested and contained Doug McDermott to 15 points on 14 shots. Jahenns Manigat (Ottawa, ON) went 1 of 6 from the field for 3 points.
Kevin Pangos (Landing, ON) and Gonzaga were outmatched in their contest against Arizona falling 84-61. Pangos rolled his ankle in early in the game, but in true Canadian fashion, returned minutes later playing 31 minutes in the game. Arizona was able to speed the game up taking advantage of their top notch athletes, thus taking Gonzaga out of their element. Pangos finished with 12 points (4-9 3PT) and 3 rebounds.