Toronto Raptors’ March Madness history from Anunoby to Watson

Fred VanVleet #23 and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)
Fred VanVleet #23 and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Toronto Raptors
OG Anunoby #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

From Fred VanVleet avenging Pascal Siakam to DeAndre’ Bembry and Chris Boucher crossing paths, the March Madness history of the Toronto Raptors features all of the highs and lows that the NCAA Tournament has to offer.

OG Anunoby’s experience coming off the bench with Indiana

OG Anunoby’s only tournament experience came as a freshman with the fifth-ranked Indiana Hoosiers in 2016. The future Raptor had a great weekend, as he provided 14 points off the bench to see the Hoosiers past No. 12 Chattanooga in the first round.

Anunoby then played 26 minutes in Indiana’s upset of No. 4 Kentucky in the second round, but IU’s luck ran out in the Sweet 16. First-seeded North Carolina beat them soundly, 101-86.

Aron Baynes: Washington State Cougars – 2007, 2008

Aron Baynes’ first bit of tournament experience came with third-ranked Washington State in 2007.

The Australian didn’t see much playing time in the Cougars’ blowout win over No. 14 Oral Roberts (I guess ORU only wins when they’re a No.15), but in the Round of 32, Baynes was more of a factor. He played 37 minutes and put up 14 points in Wazzu’s overtime clash with No. 6 Vanderbilt, but it wasn’t enough. The Cougars fell victim to the upset.

Washington State returned to the tournament the following year, this time with Baynes as a starter. The six-foot-ten centre shot a perfect 9/9 from the field in the fourth-ranked Cougars’ first round romp over No. 13 Winthrop, and snagged 11 boards in their Round of 32 win over No. 5 Notre Dame. But just like Anunoby, Baynes ran into a top-ranked North Carolina team. Led by another future Raptor in Tyler Hansbrough, the Tar Heels eliminated the Cougars, 68-47.