Being healthy at the right time is key for any team making a run in the NCAA Tournament. One missing player in the wrong matchup can be the difference between cutting down the nets and flying home early.
Here’s a look at some of the key injuries that could affect the NCAA Tournament, and they are ones to watch out for ahead of filling out your brackets.
Jahvon Quinerly - Alabama
The starting guard for the Crimson Tide went down with a scary-looking non-contact injury against Notre Dame with 16 minutes to go in the first half. He was helped off the court by trainers, and that’s a huge blow. The starting point guard averages 14.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Update 1:50 p.m. Quinerly is out for the rest of the game.
Jahvon Quinerly is out for the game with knee injury, per UA spokesperson.— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) March 18, 2022
Ryan Kalkbrenner - Creighton
The big man is going to miss the rest of the tournament with a knee injury, per head coach Greg McDermott. Kalkbrenner averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 boards per game. He’s expected to make a full recovery in 2-3 months, but will not be available when Creighton takes on Kansas in the round of 32.
DeVante Jones - Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines’ leading assist man DaVante Jones suffered a concussion during practice this week and did not travel with the team to Thursday’s first round matchup with the Colorado State Rams. It remains to be seen if he would be available in later rounds if the Wolverines advance.
Kyle Young/Zed Key - Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes have dealt with plenty of bad luck this entire season, and they could be without two of their key contributors in Friday’s first round matchup with the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Kyle Young hasn’t suited up since March 1st with a concussion, and Zed Key missed three of the last four games with an ankle injury. Both players are game-time decisions, according to head coach Chris Holtmann.
Jordan Hawkins - UConn
UConn Huskies reserve guard has not played since March 2nd as he recovers from a concussion and is listed as a game-time decision.
Donnie Tillman - New Mexico State
New Mexico State Aggies forward Donnie Tillman missed the team’s previous three games, is still in a walking boot and not expected to play in Round 1.
Yauhen Massalski - San Francisco
San Francisco Dons big man Yauhen Massalski is nearly averaging a double-double but will not be available for their Round 1 matchup after re-injuring his knee.
AJ Reeves - Providence
It’s unclear what the injury to AJ Reeves is, but he practiced on Wednesday and appears likely to be available for the Friars.
Mitch Lightfoot - Kansas
Kansas Jayhawks reserve forward Mitch Lightfoot could be unavailable for Round 1 with an injury, and head coach Bill Self called him day to day, though he’s been participating in some portions of practice.
LJ Cryer - Baylor
The Baylor Bears leading scorer LJ Cryer played just one game since January 25th and has been ruled out for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament as he continues to battle a foot injury.
Emoni Bates - Memphis
Update — Bates is playing for the Tigers against Boise State. He had been sitting out most of the season to save himself for the NBA Draft, plus some controversy within the team.
The Memphis Tigers have been without Emoni Bates since January 27th with a lower back injury. However, head coach Penny Hardaway did not rule out the possibility of him playing in the NCAA Tournament, and Bates has been participating in practice.