11 Injuries to Monitor Before Filling Out Your Bracket – 2022 March Madness

BY MATTY D.

Before you find that printable bracket to fill out, find out the updated injury statuses below for these important NCAA Men’s Basketball players. Find the teams impacted in alphabetical order.

The website covers.com is cited in this article. We are also following some key beat reporters.

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Arizona Guard Kerr Kriisa Ankle Injury Update

Kerr Kriisa was in street clothes to watch Arizona beat UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship after suffering an ankle injury late this season. Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries in basketball, but have varying grades of severity.

By the looks of it, Kerr Kriisa’s severity of a sprain is high and he won’t play this week…

Baylor Guards LJ Cryer and Kendall Brown listed with leg injuries

Kendall Brown played in Baylor’s last game, a loss to TCU, while LJ Cryer did not.

LJ Cryer has been listed as day-to-day for nearly two months, but has only played one game in the past several weeks. Cryer was Baylors leading scorer.

Connecticut Guard Jordan Hawkins Suffers a Concussion mid-March

Freshman guard Jordan Hawkins has provided quality scoring punch and range off the bench for the Huskies, but he was unavailable for their last game in a loss against Villanova.

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Georgia State Guard Nelson Phillips Listed Day-to-Day with Undisclosed Injury

Nelson Phillips averages 7.7 points per game and plays about 20 minutes per game.

Houston Veteran Fabian White Jr. Was Questionable with a Back Injury

In a season where the Cougars have seen crippling injuries, its mainstay veteran forward Fabrian White Jr. is battling a new one. However, White Jr. played the most minutes for his Cougars team in an AAC Championship game. Because it’s a back injury, it should be monitored, but for now it looks all good.

Illinois Guard Jacob Grandison Nursing a Shoulder Injury

The graduate transfer can get hot from deep, so this is a secret weapon that the Illini might have to get accustomed to playing without.

A beat reporter covering the Illini tweeted this on Monday:

Illinois beat reporters will be tracking this story all week.

Memphis Forward Jalen Duran Injures Hand in AAC Semifinal

Jalen Duran looked fine in the AAC Championship game after injuring his hand in the semifinal game. There was one fast break in particular where he sprinted and finished with a forceful dunk, showing no outward signs of pain. Head coach Penny Hardaway updated reporters about Duran’s injury after the semis, saying that it was an unknown diagnosis.

Michigan State Point Guard Tyson Walker Dealing with Ankle Injury

Counter to tradition, Michigan State has actually struggled to find consistent play at point guard since Cassius Winston’s graduation. If the Spartans don’t have Walker in the lineup, that is a serious consideration. He is not only a stable orchestrator of the offense, but he showed his ability to score in bunches this season as well.

Detroit Free Press beat writer Chris Solari reported on Monday that head coach Tom Izzo is making contingency plans to play without Walker in the lineup. Here’s what he said about backup (and sometimes starting) point guard, A.J. Hoggard.

Ohio State Buckeyes Monitoring Zed Key’s Ankle Injury

EJ Liddell is one of the nation’s best post players, but he needs help. Key is a key to the Buckeye’s having enough beef down low.

Ohio State basketball reporters are monitoring this situation closely.

San Franscisco Forward Yauhen Massalski Sidelined with Knee Injury

Yauhen Massalski was unavailable for the Dons semifinal matchup against Gonzaga in the WCC tournament, and it showed how San Francisco was minus some size against the talented Gonzaga front-line.

Photo courtesy: usfdons.com
According to CBS Sports College Basketball insider Jon Rothstein, Massalski will play.

Bonus #12: Seton Hall Guard Bryce Aiken Largely Unavailable Late This Season

Point guard Bryce Aiken has been out for weeks, so this would be a huge bonus if he re-emerges.

Honorable Mention: Some teams are still recovering from the sting felt after losing a key player late in the season. Baylor and Creighton would certainly qualify as they’ve lost Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua and Ryan Nembhard respectively.

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Injuries to monitor and replacements to consider for March Madness 2021

BY MATT DE SARLE

Nagging injuries and absences still plague the nation’s best college basketball season, despite everyone enduring the virus-plagued season. Here’s a list of the top injuries in college basketball and how replacements are filling some voids. See our top 8 list below.

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  1. Collin Gillespie Suffers MCL Knee Injury, Out for March Madness

This injury update jumped to the number one spot. Collin Gillespie is among the best five point guards in the nation, if not the best. His jump stop into the lane, pivot foot action, is unparalleled by anyone else. And Villanova will now be operating the postseason without him. Villanova was already thin in terms of body count for its normal rotation. A 5-star point guard who was in Villanova’s pipeline and next-up on its bench for one season, Jahvon Quinerly, is now on top ranked Alabama. This injury may demand that Jeremiah Robinson-Earl plays at the Player of the Year level he is capable of. He has POY talents and has had a great season, but he has not been in the discussion with the likes of Luka Garza and Jared Butler at the top of that list. Villanova went limping into the Big Dance on the heels of a Big East Tournament loss to 8 seed Georgetown, so it will definitely need Robinson-Earl to emerge if it still has ambitions for an elite 8.

2. Isaiah Livers Out for 1 Seed Michigan

The term “out indefinitely” can be a fluid situation in college basketball. And so here’s your friendly reminder to Google each specific injury hours before tip off and see where things stand. However, with this important injury, it seems the Wolverines are talking as if the season is over for Isaiah Livers. That’s so unfortunate. What basketball fans can love about Michigan is its mix of veteran program players and newcomers who have had an immediate impact. On the wing, Livers is one of the Wolverines most reliable playmakers and defenders. As the Detroit News reports, he is rehabbing a stress injury to his right foot and is in a walking boot. An obvious player who could and should step up in this absence is sophomore Franz Wagner, someone who has serious NBA aspirations.

3. Jack Nunge’s Season Cut Short for Iowa Hawkeyes

Everyone knows about Luka Garza, but Jack Nunge was quietly having a strong year as an Iowa big man. He offered a true stretch four options and could also spell Garza at the 5 spot. That versatility is sadly gone as Nunge suffered a season ending knee injury in March. Watch for how 6-8 freshman Keegan Murray can respond at the power forward position. He will not start during this roster re-shuffle, but the talented freshman ran the floor well and competed valiantly against bulldog EJ Liddell in a prime matchup against fellow top 10 team Ohio State (early into the adjustment period after Nunge’s loss).

Courtesy: ESPN Networks

4. De’Vion Harmon Tests Positive for COVID-19, Would Miss Oklahoma’s First Two Games

This is about as sad as it gets. Sure, breaking a bone or suffering a serious knee injury must be horrible. But to miss the first two games of a tournament you’ve fought so desperately to enter, on top of that virus stealing your postseason last year, is an inconceivable feeling to imagine. That’s what De’Vion Harmon might be feeling right now. As ESPN reports, De’Vion Harmon tested positive for COVID-19. The Sooners were top 8 or 9 seed earlier this season in the national AP Poll. Now they limp into the NCAA Tournament as an 8/9 seed and without their starting point guard. If you take into consideration Gonzaga would be Oklahoma’s next opponent if it beats Missouri without Harmon, you could make the argument that this is the most important injury of the current tournament.

5. ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright Out for Loyoyla-Chicago Game

Georgia Tech’s leading scorer Moses Wright is also out due to COVID-19 protocols for Georgia Tech in its opening round game against Loyola-Chicago. Loyola-Chicago enters the tournament as a 9 seed, but also ranked as KenPom.com’s ninth best team in the nation. Needless to say, this is a gigantic loss for the Yellow Jackets.

6. Drake Loses Point Guard Amidst Historically Great Season

This one really sucks for college basketball. The Drake Bulldogs were one of college basketball’s early undefeated teams. They and Loyola Chicago both looked like teams that could get at large bids punched for their tickets to the dance. Roman Penn, the Siena transfer and guard guard for Drake, was averaging 5.5 assists to only 2.3 turnovers per game. With just a few games left in the season Drake lost Penn for the season. Guard Joseph Yesufu saw his minutes increase, but responded with 5 assists to his first 10 turnovers in that immediate action. To steal a line from Drake himself, if you are reading this it’s too late for the Bulldogs. The unfortunate truth in college basketball is that taking a point guard away is like taking a starting quarterback away from a football team. Meanwhile, consider how Loyola Chicago might skate more easily in the NCAA Tournament without dueling its in-conference foe for a hard fought championship battle. You can decide (if that happens) whether it helps or hurts the Ramblers get prepped for a Final 4 repeat.

7. Vols Big Man John Fulkerson Catches an Elbow

The Tennessee Volunteers could be without big man John Fulkerson to start the Big Dance. He caught an elbow mid-way through the SEC Tournament and suffered a facial fracture. Like Ayo Dosunmo, maybe we will see him out there with a protective mask around his face. Follow local sites like Knoxnews.com for the latest updates.

8. Fabian White Jr. Clear for Takeoff in Houston?

The Houston Cougars potentially have landed a new addition in the rotation that could rocket them into another stratosphere. Fabian White Jr. is actually one of the most tenured Cougars. And the fact that the power forward (defacto center for this club) is back from an ACL knee injury in February is a game changer. According to The Daily Cougar, White has achieved a heroic effort to expedite his injury recovery in under 12 months. And while he was out, his front court mates really rebounded the ball and defended fantastic in his absence. Houston is a team that can play with great pace, but they have the muscle to hold down a push inside. Watch Fabian White Jr. in March because this is just the beginning of his season with lots of meaning.

Injuries 9 and 10 to Watch: Ankle Injuries Plaguing the Big 10’s Best

Both Big 10 powers Iowa and Michigan are dealing with nagging ankle injuries. Joe Wieskamp of Iowa is day-to-day with an ankle injury and Eli Brooks was nursing an ankle injury as he played in the Big 10 Tournament.

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