Major March Madness injuries and absences for the first round

Marcus Sasser, Houston Cougars injured

March 11, 2023; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Houston Cougars forward J’Wan Roberts (13) and a Cougars coach check Marcus Sasser (0) in the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dickies Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

  • A number of top contenders for March Madness honors are grappling with key injuries as the NCAA tournament pick nears
  • The Houston Cougars, frontrunners in the Midwest, could do without shooting guard Marcus Sasser
  • UCLA, No. 2 in the West, may be missing two starters

When teams prepare for March Madness, coaches like to emphasize that they control what they control. However, when it comes to uncontrollable factors, injuries top the list of things that can put an NCAA tournament run on hold.

As the opening pick for the NCAA round of 64 nears, some of the leading contenders in the March Madness odds are struggling with key player injuries.

Let’s take a look at all of the players currently filling the tournament team injury lists and assess how that might impact the way you bet the tournament.

March Madness injury report

team player position Injury Game Status
Arkansas Trevon Brazil f Knee out of
maroon Chance Westry G Knee out of
Baylor Langston love G Eye questionable
State of Boise Sadraque NgaNga G illness questionable
gonzaga Caden Perry f return out of
Grand Canyon Jovan Blacksher Jr G Knee out of
Houston Markus Sasser G strip probably
Indiana Xavier Johnson G Foot out of
Indiana Logan Duncomb C Sine out of
Indiana Anthony Leal G ankle questionable
Iona Quinn Slazinski f not announced out of
Iona Cruz Davis G not announced questionable
Kansas Came Martin f shoulder questionable
Kansas Kevin McCullar G return questionable
State of Kansas Keyontae Johnson f Head probably
Kent State Giovanni Santiago G hand questionable
Kentucky Sahvir Wheeler G ankle out of
Marquette Zach Wrightsil G/F Knee out of
Marquette Emarion Ellis f Knee questionable
memphis Keonte Kennedy G hand out of
Miami, Fla Norchad Omier f ankle questionable
Missouri Isiah Mosley f personal out of
Missouri Tre Gomillion G strip questionable
Missouri Ronnie DeGray III f Knee questionable
State of North Carolina Gregory Gantt f lower body questionable
State of North Carolina Dusan Mahorcic f Knee out of
northwest Julian Roper II G ankle out of
northwest Luke Hunger f Foot out of
Oral Roberts Sir Issac Herron f hand out of
Pennsylvania Caleb Dorsey G not announced out of
Princeton Deven Austin G not announced questionable
TCU Eddie Lampkin Jr C personal questionable
Tennessee Zakai Zeigler G Knee out of
Texas Timmy Allen f leg questionable
UCLA Jaylen Clark G Foot out of
UCLA Adam Bona f shoulder questionable
U.S.C Vincent Iwuchukwu f return questionable
State of Utah Rylan Jones G concussion out of
Virginia Ben van der Plas f hand out of
West Virginia Mohamed Wague f Foot out of
West Virginia Josiah Davis G wrist questionable
xavier Dieonte Miles f personal questionable
xavier Ky Ky Tandy G Foot questionable
xavier Zach Freemantle f Foot out of
xavier Came craft G Knee questionable

Can Houston win without Sasser?

Houston shooting guard Marcus Sasser suffered a groin strain in Saturday’s semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament against Cincinnati. He hasn’t played since then.

The Cougars list Sasser as likely in their Round of 64 game against the #16 Northern Kentucky Norse. To be honest, the Cougars can take the Norse without Sasser’s help.

Can they go out without? Sasser averages 17.1 points per game. He shoots 43.9% from the field and 38.3% from beyond the arc.

He also missed Houston’s run to the Elite Eight last year with a foot injury. He was a starter for the Cougars in 2021 as they made the Final Four.

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Trouble brewing for bruins?

Ranked No. 2 in the West Region, there are high hopes that the UCLA basketball tradition can be reignited with another strong performance from March Madness. However, things start out unsettling.

The Bruins are already without guard Jaylen Clark. With a foot injury, he’s eighth in the NCAA for steals. Forward Adem Bona, UCLA’s dominant presence in the color, is also questionable with a shoulder injury.

Bona leads UCLA with 1.7 blocks per game and also shoots a team-high 66.9% from the field. UCLA coach Mick Cronin is confident Bona is headed in the right direction and will be able to play when the Bruins meet #15 UNC Asheville.

Auto return for Jayhawks

It sounds like the March Madness champion’s coach is back on the sidelines. Bill Self, coach of last year’s tournament-winning Kansas Jayhawks, missed the Big 12 tournament.

Kansas has since announced that Self was hospitalized and underwent heart surgery. In a statement, Self indicated that he plans to rejoin the team for tournament play. It’s yet to be determined if he will coach the top seeded Jayhawks in their West Region opener against number 16 Howard Bison.

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Robert Duff

sports journalist

sports journalist

tennis Major March Madness injuries and absences for the first round

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