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New Zealand well represented on College hoops biggest stage

Isaiah Smiler
Cantabrian Tessa Boagni will continue to play a huge part in the success of her Cal State Northridge team's success going into the business end of the college season.   Mainland Eagles Academy

Seven New Zealander's will hit the hardwood college courts during the most prolific tournament of the year.

NCAA's March Madness gets under way tomorrow with first rounds game kicking off the two week long tournament. 

There'll be plenty of Kiwi talent on display with seven New Zealand players suiting up for various colleges in both the men's and women's tournament.

Amongst these players is 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools Most Valuable Player Samuel Waardenburg. His sixth seeded Miami Hurricanes are taking on Loyola Chicago. 

Also in action tomorrow is Matt Freeman's college side Oklahoma. Freeman's teammate Trae Young led the NCAA in scoring and assists with averages of 27.4 points and 8.8 assists per game.

The New Zealand forward sees minimal time on the floor, but his hustle and defensive prowess will be a key part in the Sooners run for the national title. 

Tall Black Tai Wynyard will be out of action for the Kentucky Wildcats, who will face off against Davidson University in the first round. Wynyard missed the majority of the year with a back injury before being stood down by the team for a violation of team rules.

Moving onto Saturday, first seeded Virginia will take on University of Maryland - Baltimore. Kiwi Jack Salt has spent the last three season with the Virginia Cavaliers and it's their fifth trip to the big dance in as many seasons. The Cavaliers have only dropped two games the whole season, and are strong favourites to take the national championship.

Cantabrian Tessa Boagni led her California State Northridge Matadors to the 16th seed. Boagni went on a tear near the end of the season scoring in at least 14 points or more in her last eight games. Look for her to keep her hot hand going throughout March Madness. Boagni at the Matadors will be up against it from the start of the tournament taking on first seeded Notre Dame in the first round. 

Kiwi duo Krystal Leger-Walker and Tiarna Clarke helped the Northern Colorado University women make it to the dance. Northern Colorado had a record of 26 wins and six losses this year, making them the tenth seed. They'll play Michigan University in their first round matchup. 

Jacinta Beckley was one of the highest scoring members on her Seattle University team. Averaging twelve and a half points this year, she and team mate Alexis Montgomery led Seattle to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. 

For those with Sky, coverage of March Madness will be aired on ESPN starting tomorrow morning.