As soon as the NCAA Tournament bracket comes out, everyone begins to check out the March Madness odds for the first-round games. That madness is going to continue throughout March, especially as the field continues to shrink.
The 2023 NCAA Tournament feels like several teams have a chance to win the title, and that’s not always the case every year. Some of the best teams are dealing with adversity, and that could affect how this tournament is played.
Injuries happen, but many teams are hoping to get some of their top players healthy and at their best. College basketball is a sport that is dominated by individuals, and the stars need to shine bright in March.
Here is a look at some of the injuries to key players in the NCAA Tournament and how those injuries can impact how the games are played out.
Brandon Miller, Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide have the best odds for March Madness as they came into this tournament as the top overall seed. Alabama is a team that is loaded with talent, including the best freshman in the country.
Brandon Miller is a player that is good enough to take over any game, and he is going to be a top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. He began his NCAA Tournament career without a point, though, and it was announced that he is currently battling an injury.
Miller is expected to suit up and play in the second-round game for Alabama, but it’s unclear just how effective he will be. The Crimson Tide are a team that is loaded with talent, but they won’t be cutting down the nets unless Miller can get back to 100 percent.
Marcus Sasser, Houston
When the NCAA Vegas odds basketball were announced, many people were surprised to see that the Houston Cougars were one of the betting favorites. That shouldn’t have been a surprise to true college basketball fans, though, as this team is loaded with talent.
While Houston has a ton of guards that are capable of leading the way for the Cougars, it is Marcus Sasser that is the best of the bunch. It was a groin injury suffered by Sasser during the conference tournament, and the school has been relatively quiet in providing an update.
The Cougars are a team that is good enough to win the title, but they are going to need a healthy Marcus Sasser to make that a possibility.
Jaylen Clark, UCLA
If the UCLA Bruins can win the National Championship this season, then they are going to have to get that done without Jaylen Carter. The Bruins were dealt a huge blow near the end of the season after Jaylen Carter suffered an ankle injury.
Since the initial injury happened, it has now been revealed that Carter suffered an Achilles injury, and it’s going to keep him out for the remainder of the season. UCLA is a team that has gone on some deep NCAA Tournament runs over the last few years, but not having Carter is a big blow.
While Carter was providing more than 13 points per game this season, he was also known to be the best defensive player on the Bruins.
Zach Freemantle, Xavier
The Xavier Musketeers are another team that is going to have to go on a big run without one of their key pieces if they want to win a title. Zach Freemantle hasn’t played since January 28th after suffering an injury to his left foot, and he was forced to have season-ending surgery.
Xavier was hoping to get Freemantle back at some point this season, but the injury was worse than what was originally diagnosed. Fremantle was scoring over 15 points per game this season, and he was also the leading rebounder.
Xavier was not one of the top teams expected to win the NCAA Tournament, but anything can happen in March. The Musketeers will now have to go on a run without a key player, but he will be cheering his teammates on from the sideline.
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