Jack Salt (Virginia), Matt Freeman (Oklahoma) and Sam Timmins (Washington) were all in action on Saturday at the NCAA Tournament and all three progressed to the second round.
Early on in their clash with Gardner-Webb there was a sense of deja vu for Virginia University Cavaliers. Having exited in the first round last year when carrying the No 1 seed tag, they found themselves 14 points down to the Runnin’ Bulldogs (30-16).
However, the Cavs trimmed the deficit to six points by half-time and put the defensive clamps on Gardner-Webb in the second half to eventually claim a 71-56 victory. Against smaller opponents Salt was only required to play the opening five minutes.
The win means two Kiwis, in fact two former Westlake and Harbour representatives, will face each other in the second round on Monday as Virginia will face Matt Freeman and Oklahoma University Sooners.
The Sooners, with Freeman recording an assist, a steal and a block waltzed past Mississippi 95-72. The Sooners scored on eight of their first nine positions, led by 17 points at half-time and went on to post their highest score of the season.
Washington University Huskies made a successful return to the NCAA Tournament after eight years, beating Utah State 78-61. Sam Timmins played just a couple of minutes for the Huskies – the Pac-12 regular season champions will face highly fancied North Carolina on Monday.
The seven Kiwis in the Women’s NCAA Tournament play on Sunday
Sunday March 24, 6.00am; North Carolina State (Esra McGoldrick) v Maine
Sunday March 24, 6.00am; Fordham (Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia & Zara Jillings) v Syracuse
Sunday March 24, 8.30am; BYU (Shalae Salmon, Khaedin Taito & Kaylee Smiler) v Auburn
Men’s NCAA second round games to be played on Monday (NZT).
Monday March 25, 12.45pm; Oklahoma v Virginia
Monday March 25, 7.40am: Washington v North Carolina