The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels were able to pull off the win in their Sweet 16 game on Friday against the Ohio Bobcats without guard Kendall Marshall, but they're likely to be missing him a lot more when they face off against the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday in the Elite Eight.
Marshall suffered a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist and underwent surgery to repair the injury on Monday. Despite all that, his status for Sunday's matchup remains a game-time decision. The Fayetteville Observer spoke to Marshall on Saturday. He felt it was not out of the realm of possibility that he could play on Sunday.
I've gotten better every single day, which is a positive. Not just for the game, but for my health in general. If I were to make a huge jump and be healthy enough to contribute to my team, then there's a chance I could play tomorrow.
But he still remained realistic and pragmatic.
As soon as I stepped out on the court, I was like, I'm playing. Then I caught a pass and was like, Ooh, maybe not. I don't want to get my hopes too high and I don't want to just say I'm not playing. Right now, I wouldn't be playing. But I have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow.
Daniel Martin at CollegeBasketballTalk passes along how UNC head coach Roy Williams feels about Marshall's value to the team:
"It’s just one player, but I think this is the best example," Williams said. "I understand the Indianapolis Colts were in the playoffs [in 2010], then they lose Peyton Manning, and they got the No. 1 pick in the draft [after going 2-14 in 2011 without Manning]. That’s how important Kendall is to us."
North Carolina would certainly be a stronger team with Marshall than without him. It appears his status will not be known until game time.