Nov 29, 2011, 12:25 AM EST
Nothing takes the luster off a marquee matchup like an injury to an elite player. Though I doubt Wisconsin fans are too bummed out the thought of not facing Harrison Barnes.
Barnes, North Carolina’s leading scorer and a preseason All-American, badly sprained his ankle during Saturday’s loss to UNLV and left afterward on crutches. He didn’t practice Monday.
More telling was this quote from coach Roy Williams during his Monday night radio show: “If we had a game today, he would not have played.”
That’s not to say Barnes won’t be ready by Wednesday. He could play. But he won’t be fully healthy, and that’s an issue when he averages 17.3 points and 4.8 rebounds a game.
The Tar Heels have talented guys to replace him – starting with wings Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston – but he’s essential to their offense and overall scheme. That’s how it goes when you’re one of the nation’s elite players.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- Markus Kennedy cleared to play immediately for SMU 0
- Weekend Preview: A loaded Saturday slate highlights the weekend 4
- Rebounding, foul shooting help No. 2 Duke make up for 19 turnovers in win over UConn 0
- Michigan State starting forward to miss next two games with non-displaced wrist fracture 0
- Film Session: What’s plaguing Marcus Paige? 1
- Throwback Thursday: UConn ‘Shocks The World’ against Duke (VIDEO) 1
- New Year’s Resolutions: Virginia Cavaliers 1
- Gregg Marshall writes to Wichita State students after seeing empty seats in student section (PHOTO) (7)
- Report: David Robinson’s son will be preferred walk-on at Duke in 2015-16 (VIDEO) (6)
- West Virginia’s Bob Huggins torches Marshall after coach calls Huggs ‘afraid’ (5)
- Without Alex Poythress, No. 1 Kentucky’s offense looks comfortable in win over No. 21 North Carolina (4)
- Lauren Hill’s playing career over, to become honorary coach (4)