March Madness Update – Kiwis in the Big Dance (17 March)

March Madness Update – 17 March 2022

The former Rangitoto College duo of Dan Fotu and Yuat Alok have advanced to the second round of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship on the first full day proper of the tournament.

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019, St Mary’s proved far too good for Indiana – powering to an 82-53 victory. Dan Fotu was very solid for the Gaels, contributing 7 points (2/3FG, 2/2FT), 5 rebounds and a block. Saint Mary’s will likely face UCLA in the second round.

Also back at the Big Dance for the first time since 2019 Yuat Alok and New Mexico State Aggies caused a first round upset defeating Connecticut 70-63 with the Aggies big man scoring a couple of points.

James Moors couldn’t make it a trio of successes as Colorado State fell 75-63 to Michigan. The former Westlake and Harbour forward claiming 4 rebounds and 2 points in the defeat.

The remaining Kiwis at the Division I Championships will be in action over the weekend.  Tegan Graham, Kaylee Smiler and Arielle Mackey-Williams will all be wearing the blue and white of Brigham Young University (BYU).

Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker will be key to Washington State’s chances while fellow Pac-12’ers Colorado University Buffaloes (Charlotte Whittaker) will also be in action.

Back to the Men’s tournament and we await the first appearances of Miami University Hurricanes (Sam Waardenburg), Texas Christian University (Harrison Young) and Davidson College (Sam Mennenga). Should Davidson defeat Michigan State, they will have the unenviable challenge of facing top seed Gonzaga in the second round.


NIT (National Invitation Tournament)

Taine Murray had a couple of points and a pair of rebounds as Virginia University Cavaliers beat Mississippi State 60-57 in the opening round of the NIT (National Invitation Tournament). Virginia will play North Texas in the second round.


Upcoming Games:

WNIT (Women’s National Invitation Tournament)

A first round match up pits Portland University Pilots (Emme Shearer) against Colorado State University Rams (Jessica Moors) – two former Harbour Breeze players meeting head to head.

UC Irvine (Olivia Williams) are in the same segment of the 64-team draw with Fordham Rams (Kendell Heremaia), Wofford College (Helen Matthews) and Houston Baptist (Lauryn Mapusua) on the opposite side.


Just a reminder that we will also be following the fortunes of the Kiwis playing in the Junior College National Championships, the NAIA Tournament and the Canadian Universities play-offs.

NAIA National Championships.

Following a first round win against Teinhardt University Rocky Mountain College pulled away from Dakota State to win their second round tie 89-73 at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s Basketball National Championship. Dominique Stephens finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, all at the offensive end, a block and a steal for Rocky that advance to the Round of 16.

Junior College.

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska Cougars are through to the Second Round of the Women’s s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships after the Cougars beat Murray State 71-59. Smith claimed 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and a made free throw with Cook missing the game through injury. The Cougars will next play Wabash Valley in the Second Round.

Despite 15 points from Dejaan Schuler #14 Casper College were defeated 73-70 by #19 Hutchinson College in the first round The Te Aroha native also tallied a pair of assists, a steal and a rebound.

Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech Jets were eliminated 88-80 by #14 South Plains in the First Round of the Men’s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships. Nate had 3 rebounds and an assist in the loss.

Southern Idaho (Ashlee Strawbridge and Kyra Paniora) will be in action tomorrow.


Canadian Universities.

In Canada Cantabrian guard Sofia Kennedy tallied 3 rebounds and 2 points as Windsor University Lancers were defeated 77-67 by Guelph University Gryphons in the quarter-finals of the Ontario University Athletics Conference Tournament.