Andrew Wiggins made his NCAA Basketball Championship debut on Friday and the teenager from Vaughan, Ontario didn’t disappoint, leading his Kansas Jayhawks to a 80-69 win over Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
Wiggins opened his March Madness tournament by scoring 19 points. He added four rebounds and two blocks. From the field Wiggins hit seven of 13 shots and sank all five of his free throws. He was the leading scorer in this opening round match-up.
The 19-year old had 10 points in the first half, including a pair of monster dunks that had tongues wagging at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Ranked second on their side of the tournament bracket, Kansas had a difficult time seeing off 15th seeded Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels headed to the locker room at halftime tied at 32 against the heavily favoured Jayhawks.
To start the second period Wiggins attacked the paint in the first two Kansas drives, getting to the foul line on the first, then a field goal and one on his next run.
With 7:35 left in the game Wiggins drove to the basket once more, rolling in two before going to the line to complete the three point play to give Kansas a 62-56 lead.
The Colonels continued to stick around with strong outside shooting, but the Jayhawks were able to close out the contest to avoid an upset. An emphatic fourth dunk of the game by Wiggins in the final minute put the game well beyond doubt. They’ll take on number 10 ranked Stanford on Sunday in the Round of 32.