The number of Aussies participating in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament has plummeted, as Saint Mary’s Gaels, which had seven players from Down Under on the squad, was sent home by Arizona.
The final score was 69 – 6o in favour of number two West seed Arizona. St. Mary’s went in as the number seven seed, so they outcome was not unforeseen, and St. Mary’s deserve much credit for rising to the occasion against a seemingly superior team.
The Gaels had the Wildcats on the ropes in the first half. In the second, the two teams engaged in a seesaw battle before the Wildcats went on an 11 – 2 run from which the Gaels were unable to recover.
Junior Jock Landale of East Malvern, had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Gaels and with his size, would appear to be an NBA heir-apparent to Andrew Bogut, should Landale chose to pursue a NBA career either in this, or next year’s NBA draft.
Landale has consistently put up big scoring and rebounding numbers for the Gael’s, his 19-point, 11-rbound effort against the Wildcats being the 17th time this season he has recorded a double-double performance.
The Aussie population in the NCAA tournament has dropped from 10 to seven as a result of the outcome.