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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8 Intriguing Potential Player Matchups for Field of 32

BY MATT DE SARLE

The bracket is in. And, as always, a bunch of couch potatoes like myself are predicting the future. And if my Crystal Ball is on point this season, below are a bunch of second round matchups that would be extra fun to watch.

READ ALSO: Injuries to Consider or Sons of NBA Players Dancing

8. Corey Kispert vs. Michael Almonacy

This would be the David versus Goliath, Three Point Competition Edition. Gonzaga is the #1 overall seed in March Madness. Corey Kispert is their golden boy three point shooter who can go on a tear. However, Michael Almonacy at App State shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to his three point efficiency. Check out our top 8 sharpshooters in the tourney.

7. DJ Burns vs. Trevion Williams

If Winthrop upsets Villanova and rolls into the field of 32, they could have a matchup against Purdue. And that would pin two heavyweights against each other. Trevion Williams had shed some pounds after coming into the Purdue program a few years ago. DJ Burns might have ticked up a few pounds during this COVID-19 off-season. Whatever the pre-fight weigh in might be, watching these two athletic whirling dervishes down low would be amazing. DJ Burns is coming off a Conference Championship game where he looked like Zach Randolph with his rolling around the paint and sticking quick left-handed hook shots. Williams almost completed a massive comeback victory against Ohio State in the Big 10 tournament. And so both these big boys come rolling into the Big Dance.

6. Moses Moody vs. Mac McClung

If you like shooting guards who can score, this matchup would be for you. Mac McClung is a YouTube sensation for his dunks. Moses Moody is probably an NBA Lottery pick next year. Each guy can fill it up. And each team feeds them when they’re hot. This would be a classic 3 vs. 6 seed matchup, in where whichever team’s highest scorer gets hot late might just advance.

5. Franck Kepnang vs. Luka Garza

Franck Kepnang is from Cameroon and just reclassified in high school so that he can be playing for Oregon this season (and in this tournament). Meanwhile, Luka Garza is from the nation’s capital, a national player of the year, and 22-years-old. If you think experience always wins, this might be a game where your theory gets a scare. Kepnang is an enforcer on the defensive end and definitely doesn’t look like he should be a high school senior at this point. It could be fun to watch the 6-11 freshman battle the 6-11 senior. That is, if things play according to script and the 2 seed takes on the 7 seed.

Photo courtesy GoDucks.com

4. Cameron Krutwig vs. Kofi Cockburn

See, if you’re a fan of the NBA, you might think the traditional post up big man is extinct. Yet, this would be another fantastic matchup of two mammoth men. Cameron Krutwig was a starter on the Loyola Chicago team that made a Cinderella Final 4 run in 2018. Cockburn is a player who has slowly progressed for an Illinois team that earned its place as a #1 seed. These guys are, again, players who their teams know to feed when it’s evidence they’re hungry down low. Help defenders might need some armor in this one.

3. James Bouknight vs. Jahvon Quinerly

Both of these guards are silky smooth and surrounded with other talented guards in their respective backcourts. If 2 seed Alabama plays 7 seed UConn, you might see what equates to pickup basketball highlights here. Quinerly is another YouTube star because of his handles and finger rolling. Bouknight has a ridiculous wingspan for a guard and uses it to finish while seemingly staying in the air forever. These guys would have been a mainstay matchup in the Big East had Quinerly stayed at Villanova. Now we might be treated to this matchup if each team holds its end of the bargain on the first round of games.

2. Kai Jones vs. Aaron Henry

Doesn’t it feel like destiny that Michigan State will advance and play another mainstay NCAA team? How about a second round matchup between 3 seed Texas and 11 seed Michigan State? Aaron Henry is an established forward for Michigan State who can guard, defend, rebound, do it all. Kai Jones is like a track-and-field athlete with a basketball in his hand. He can run for days and finish strong on a fast break. As a freshman, he is already talked about as a top NBA pick. It would be fascinating to watch Tom Izzo’s team try and clog down this game, and athletes like Kai Jones at Texas. It’s how the Spartans got into the tournament: slowing the games down and playing a more physical brand of basketball. With Aaron Henry having played in the national championship game two years ago, he is the type of player who it would be fascinating to watch display his game savvy over some of the lesser experienced top prospects with the Longhorns.

  1. Scottie Barnes vs. McKinley Wright IV

Scottie Barners is the modern NBA point guard. He’s a freshman and about 6-7. So he looks like a point forward, but he is transitioning well into a role for Florida State as a point guard (he did not play the position in high school). On the opposite end of the origin story spectrum, senior McKinley Wright IV may look like an undersized point guard to an NBA scout, but his heart and determination are like Kobe Bryant. Don’t sell Wright IV and his Colorado Buffs short because they lost to Oregon State in the PAC 12 Championship game. These things happen in college basketball and, besides, Colorado was clearly celebrating its semifinal victory against USC. And so they just had a let down game. This would be a matchup between point guards that you could look back on 10 or 15 years from now with at least one if not both of these guys making a day job for themselves on the next level.

March Madness Longshots Worth a Look

Click here for an A-Z Breakdown of all NCAA Tournament teams.  

And it begins.

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The pilgramage of college basketball fanatics to Sin City is on.

There is only one guarantee:  Madness will happen.  To capitalize on it is the challenge.

At first glance, some deserving teams are being shown no love from the sports books across the desert.  Dayton, for example, has had its hiccups late in the season.  However, 100-to-1 odds in such a wide-open season seems too generous.

In five short weeks, Oregon has gone from unranked to a one seed.  Between Bill Walton’s drumming of the glockenspiel and the West Coast time zone, the seriousness of the Ducks was drowned out to a national audience.  Now they’re 15/1 to win the entire thing.  Most books have them as the 6th favorite in line to win a national championship.

But we remember the glockenspiel.  We remember watching this team and hearing about their deficiencies — ranked outside the top 5o in effective defense, a point guard you cannot name, and a wildly athletic yet still raw and super thin (6-10, 190 lbs) center in Chris Boucher.

What we’re saying is that Saint Joseph’s at 200/1 to win a championship, as is Cincinatti at 100/1, because those teams look a lot like Oregon.  Whatever team wins the 8-9 matchup will likely take on the ducks.  The Cincy Bearcats especially resemble the Ducks, as they appear to have four or five small forwards who get playing time.  For Saint Joe’s we have a whole lot more to tell you about star De’andre Bembry.  Click here. 

If Oregon plays anything like the glockenspiel game, you guys will be in business with those odds.

Some other odds that caught our attention was Providence at 200/1 with one of America’s best players, Wichita State at 75/1 with their experience, and Stephen F. Austin for an absolute haymaker for 500/1.  If the Lumberjacks get past West Virginia, they could grab momentum in a sweet spot of the bracket.  Plus, this system at Stephen F. performed well against so-called “Havoc” two years ago as they beat VCU.  West Virginia’s press shouldn’t be a knockout punch.

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