Aussies set to star in NCAA Tournament

Aussies set to star in NCAA Tournament

Up to 17 Australians will be doing the dance at the 2013 NCAA Tournament as March Madness shifts into full gear.

Headlining the Aussie-filled brackets was the arrival of the New Mexico Lobos as legitimate National Championship contenders, earning a #3 seed in the West division where they will face Ivy League champions, Harvard.

Australian Boomers young guns Hugh Greenwood and Cameron Bairstow will spearhead the Lobos assault, fresh from their impressive performances in helping New Mexico to Mountain West Conference tournament title on Sunday.

It was also another successful result for Saint Louis University senior Cody Ellis, with the Billikens claiming a #4 seed in the Mid-West division on the back of winning the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament on Monday.

Ellis and his giant-killing team will take on New Mexico State eager to set up a third round clash with either Oklahoma or Oregon.

The Matthew Dellavedova inspired Saint Mary’s Gaels will have to reach the tournament proper the hard way as they face a sudden-death First Four play-in game against Middle Tennessee.

The same applies for Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic, with their Boise State Broncos to face LaSalle in the First Four to advance to a tournament clash against Kansas State.

It is an Aussie-dominated Mid-West region with nine players aiming to knock off overall number one seed the Louisville Cardinals.

A breakout star of the 2012 London Olympic Games for the Boomers, Dellavedova led the Gaels and their Aussie contingent of Queenslanders Mitchell Young, Jorden Page and Matt Hodgson to second in the Western Coast Conference and runner-up to West Region #1 seed Gonzaga in the WCC tournament final.

They will be hoping to join fellow Aussies Cody Ellis (Saint Louis), Ryan Broekhoff and his Horizon League champion Valparaiso, along with Albany University trio Luke Devlin, Sam Rowley and Peter Hooley at the big dance.

Broekhoff and his Crusaders (#14 seed in the Mid-West) will have to produce their best when the face the powerhouse #3 seed Michigan State Spartans, while Albany (#15 seed) come up against and even more intimidating prospect in #2 seed and
2010 National Champions, the Duke University Blue Devils.

The East division has a strong Aussie flavour, with four teams sporting players hoping to guide their team in March glory, led by Jackson Aldridge and his #6 seeded Butler University.

The Bulldogs face #11 seed Bucknell, while Jordan Vandenberg and his #8 seeded North Carolina State face Temple in their first-up game.

Spencer Llewellyn will be eager to force his way into the Pacific University (#15 seed) team for their meeting with Atlantic Coast Conference champions and #2 seed, the Miami Hurricanes, while Shane Harris-Tunks and his #10 seed Colorado meet #7 ranked Illinois.

Tournament play gets underway on Wednesday with Saint Mary’s and their quartet of Australians facing Middle Tennessee LIVE on ESPN and from MIDDAY.  

The action continues on Thursday as Boise State ain to topple DeSalle in their First Four play-in game, with action LIVE on ESPN2 from MIDDAY.

Full list of Aussies in 2013 NCAA Tournament

Mid-West Division
Cody Ellis – Saint Louis (Perth, WA)
Peter Hooley – Albany (Hahndorf, SA)
Luke Devlin – Albany (Sydney, NSW)
Sam Rowley – Albany (Sydney, NSW)
Ryan Broekhoff – Valparaiso (Melbourne, VIC)
Matthew Dellavedova – Saint Mary’s (Maryborough, VIC)
Mitchell Young – Saint Mary’s (Logan, QLD)
Jorden Page – Saint Mary’s (Maroochydore, QLD)
Matt Hodgson – Saint Mary’s (Booval, QLD)

East Divison
Jordan Vandenberg – North Carolina State (Melbourne. VIC)
Shane Harris-Tunks – Colorado (Sydney, NSW)
Spencer Llewellyn – Pacific (Sydney, NSW)
Jackson Aldridge – Butler (Sydney, NSW)

West Division
Hugh Greenwood – New Mexico (Hobart, TAS)
Cameron Bairstow – New Mexico (Brisbane, QLD)
Anthony Drmic – Boise State (Melbourne, VIC)
Igor Hadziomerovic – Boise State (Melbourne, VIC)