NCAA Tournament claims Aussie victims

NCAA Tournament claims Aussie victims

It was a forgettable day for the Australian contingent in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, with seven players knocked out on the first day of second round action.

The biggest upset came in the West Division as Hugh Greenwood and Cameron Bairstow’s New Mexico Lobos were shocked by 14-seed Harvard 68-62.
Bairstow finished the game with 15 points and 9 rebounds, but the Lobos could not stop the Ivy League school from recording their first-ever NCAA Tournament win.

This upset capped off a tough day for the Australian Boomers young guns, with Saint Mary’s suffering an agonising 54-52 loss to 8-seed Memphis.

Matthew Dellavedova led the Gaels to an impressive First Four victory over Middle Tennessee State just two days prior, with 22 points in the 67-54 win, but was unable to see the team advance to the round of 32.

The Aussie-clad Saint Mary’s team of Dellavedova, Mitchell Young, Jorden Page and Matt Hodgson came from 10 points down at half time to push Memphis all the way, but could not tie the game as Dellavedova was off with a three-point attempt to win the game.

Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff could not inspire his Crusaders to an upset win over the Michigan State Spartans, going down 65-54.

The seven knocked out on Friday adds to the Boise State duo of Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic, who missed out on a place in the tournament proper after a First Four loss to La Salle 81-70.

Drmic was at his best, dropping 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting, but he could not stop the Broncos missing out on a second-round clash with Kansas State.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Australian stars, with the duo of Cody Ellis and Jackson Aldridge advancing to the round of 32 after first-up wins.

Ellis had 12 points and 6 rebounds as the Saint Louis Billikens advanced thanks to a convincing 64-44 win over New Mexico State, while Aldridge’s Butler Bulldogs were too good for Bucknell 68-56.

March Madness continues tomorrow with Aussie trio Luke Devlin, Sam Rowley and Peter Hooley hoping to produce a giant-killing effort of their own as Albany take on 2-seed Duke LIVE on ESPN at 3:00am AEDT.

Colorado’s Shane Harris-Tunks face Illinois in a battle of 7 and 11 seeds with the game LIVE on ESPN at 7:30am AEDT, while Jordan Vandenberg’s North Carolina State face Temple.