Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament 2024: 5 Canadians to watch in March Madness

As the First Round of the men’s NCAA Tournament approaches, the next generation of Northern stars will suit up with a chance to add their name to the growing list of Canadian basketball icons. Let’s take a closer look at five tournament-bound Canucks that could make a difference in the Big Dance.
Oklahoma v TCU
Oklahoma v TCU / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages
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Ryan Nembhard - Gonzaga Bulldogs

It’s not the size of the Bulldog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the Bulldog.

Aurora, Ontario’s own Ryan Nembhard, measuring in at 6’0”, has continued his impressive college career at his new home at Gonzaga. After spending his first two years in the NCAA with Creighton, Nembhard’s jump to the West Coast Conference has allowed him to flourish in his junior season. Consistency has been a staple of the guard’s college career, averaging over 10 points per game in each of his first three seasons. This year, however, he was able to refine another aspect of his game.

Nembhard currently leads the WCC with 6.7 APG to help fuel Gonzaga’s potent offence, nearly two assists more than he averaged in 2022-23. This paired with his minimal turnover numbers creates a daunting 3.03 assist-to-turnover ratio, a figure that also claims first prize in the conference. Now you would think scoring would take a backseat with his higher inclination to share the rock - but you would be wrong. Nembhard’s 12.9 PPG is a career-high, adding more of a downhill style to his game while keeping his outside shooting in check.

The guard was honored following the regular season with an All-WCC First Team selection. After falling short in the conference tournament, the Bulldogs will look to extend their strong season with a First Round matchup against the surging McNeese Cowboys. Nembhard will square up against McNeese’s star point guard Shahada Wells in a battle that will undoubtedly be must-watch television.

When to watch? #5 Gonzaga will take on #12 McNeese in the First Round on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 7:25 p.m. ET.