From the six Kiwi men that began the NCAA Tournament last week just one remains – Tall Blacks centre Jack Salt.
In the contest between the former Westlake Boys and North Harbour representatives it was Salt and the University of Virginia Cavaliers that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen at the expense of Matt Freeman and the University of Oklahoma Sooners on Monday.
The Cavs scored the first seven points of the second round game and were never headed, eventually prevailing 63-51. Matt Freeman knocked down a triple with his only scoring attempt for the Sooners but Virginia captain Salt was only required for two minutes off the bench – only the fourth game he hasn’t started this season and the least amount of court time he has played in the entire campaign.
Virginia next play on Friday against Oregon in the round of sixteen.
Earlier in the day the University of Washington Huskies fell 81-59 to North Carolina, the #1 seeds in the Midwest quarter of the bracket.
Sam Timmins came off the bench to score with his only field goal attempt and also snared a couple of rebounds for the Huskies. Washington, the Pac-12 regular season champions, finish the season with a 27-9 record.
The former Otago Boys High and Middleton Grange standout played 33 games for the Huskies this season, starting on 7 occasions. He has totaled 98 appearances in his three seasons at Washington.
At the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Virginia Commonwealth Rams fell 82-72 to Virginia Tech in the second round.
Once again Akiene-Tera Reed led the Rams scoring accumulating 17 points, on 6 from 10 shooting, to go with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
VCU, the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season joint champions, finish the season with a 24-10 record.
It’s the turn of the women at the NCAA Tournament tomorrow with four New Zealand players looking to progress beyond the second round.
Women’s NCAA Tournament second round
Tuesday March 26, 4.00pm; North Carolina State (Esra McGoldrick) v Kentucky
Tuesday March 26, Noon; BYU (Shalae Salmon, Khaedin Taito & Kaylee Smiler) v Stanford