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Past Injuries That Derailed NCAA Contenders


Hatz

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With the news of Marshall's current injury for UNC; and with the time between now and Thursday's games, I thought it might be worthwhile to mention past contenders that lost key players at the wrong time. Did those injuries sideline their team's chances at the title?

 

1. 1975 Scott May of Indiana. Broke his wrist. Tried playing in a cast and he was never the same the last 2 weeks of the season. The Hoosiers lost I think a certain NCAA title when UK upset them in the Elite Eight. May would be National Player of the Year the next season and IU would go 32-0.

 

2. 1997 Derek Anderson of Kentucky. Knee injury. Cats make it to the title game but it's obvious that Arizona's quickness was superior to UK in that game. Could Anderson's presence have changed the outcome?

 

3. 2000 Kenyon Martin of Cincy. Broken Leg. Without him the Bearcats fall early in the tourney despite being so dominant in the season.

 

 

Any others?

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Martin's is the most glaring from my vantage point, just because of the timing. The injury to Bogans didn't help, but I'm of the opinion that Marquette beats UK regardless. With Derek Anderson, UK had some time to adjust to that, though the run they went on was still very impressive.

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Martin's is the most glaring from my vantage point, just because of the timing. The injury to Bogans didn't help, but I'm of the opinion that Marquette beats UK regardless. With Derek Anderson, UK had some time to adjust to that, though the run they went on was still very impressive.

 

 

That's why I started with Scott May in '75. I think he broke his wrist with a week to go before the tourney began.

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They mentioned it last night on TBS but Kenny Smith's injury in '84 (broken wrist) really hurt UNC that season. They lost only 2 regular season games (both after the injury) and were upset by IU in the Sweet 16. Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins were dynamic together that season and a young Kenny Smith might have been all that was missing.

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It wasn't during the NCAA tournament, but Mike Casey getting hurt prior to the 1970 season certainly hurt Kentucky's chances of winning it all.

 

UK still stayed #1 for a large chunk of that year. I truly believe that the Cats would have won the national title in 1970 if Casey hadn't been injured in the auto accident before the season started. He was the leading scorer for UK as a sophomore, not his teammate Dan Issel.

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