Kendall Marshall has cast removed, but Tournament cast in doubt

UNC's Kendall Marshall has cast removed, but his Tournament still cast in doubt

3/21/12 in NCAABB   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

NCAA Tournament brackets nationwide are bordering on disaster, with the wrist injury to No. 1 seed University of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall. The Tar Heels are a popular Final Four pick -- even among people who hate them. But Marshall's fracture to his non-shooting wrist could stop them dead in their regional brackets.

Marshall had the cast on his wrist removed Wednesday, after a surgery on his right scaphoid bone that doctors deemed successful.  UNC's all-time single season assist leader is now wearing a removable splint, with the Tar Heels' next Tournament match-up with Ohio University looming on Friday evening.

If Marshall misses time, brackets from your office all the way up to President Obama could be as good as busted. The President has the Tarheels winning it all, and plenty of people have UNC in the Final Four.

Listening to North Carolina coach Roy Williams on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning Wednesday, the coach sounds resigned to playing Friday's game without Marshall.

"If something weird happens and they say that he can play, I'm probably gonna let the guy play," Williams said in the interview. "But I do not foresee that happening."

"The doctors say for a complete heal, you're talking about eight weeks to twelve weeks," Williams said. Meanwhile, there are only twelve days left in the Tournament.

You might note that Kendall Marshall is not even the leading scorer on his own team -- in fact, he's fifth. So why is his injury causing so much anxiety for Tar Heel Nation?

Marshall's "unmatched vision and court sense is the primary reason Carolina has scored more points than any team in the country this year," writes Sports Illustrated's Ted Keith. "His injury could be a death sentence to the Tar Heels' dreams of a third national title in eight years and would blow an already chaotic Midwest Regional wide open."

Indeed, between his shooting and his assists, Marshall accounts for 55% of all UNC points, according to an estimate from Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg.

if Marshall can't play, UNC's point guard pickings are slim. They lost their primary back-up point guard Dexter Strickland to a torn ACL in January.

Now their back-up point guards are Stilman White -- who's averaged just 4.3 minutes a game this season -- and Justin Watts, who's only appeared at the point guard position twice all season.

White and Watts have averaged a combined fewer than two points per game this season.
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3/22/12   |   derms33   |   17653 respect

Medical Miracle I tell ya