One of the running themes of the 2011-12 basketball season was the number of games defined by the players who weren’t on the floor. Although suspensions—Syracuse’s Fab Melo, UConn’s Ryan Boatright—played a part into that narrative, key players being lost to injury made for some of the biggest story lines of the season.
Few injuries had such immediate (or obvious) effects as Duke’s loss of forward Ryan Kelly to a sprained foot. With the sharp-shooting forward sidelined, the Blue Devils lost their ACC Tournament semifinal against Florida State, then proceeded to implode in the NCAA Tournament as the sixth No. 2 seed in history to fall to a No. 15.
Herein, a further look at the painful end to Kelly’s season, along with nine more players whose injuries changed the fates of their teams last year.