Virginia's DeAndre Hunter to Miss NCAA Tournament After Suffering Wrist Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2018

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 13: De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts after hitting a three pointer in the second half of the game against the Miami Hurricanes at The Watsco Center on February 13, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Virginia Cavaliers freshman guard De'Andre Hunter will be out for the 2018 NCAA tournament after suffering a broken wrist in the ACC tournament, the school announced Tuesday.

Hunter appeared in all 33 games for Virginia this season, averaging 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists en route to winning the ACC's Sixth Man of the Year award.

Many analysts commented on how Hunter's absence will affect Virginia in its pursuit of a Final Four trip:

The selection committee wasn't kind to the Cavaliers by seeding the Arizona Wildcats fourth and the Kentucky Wildcats fifth in the South region. That sets up what could be a difficult Sweet 16 matchup for Virginia, which Hunter's injury makes all the more tricky.

The situation is somewhat reminiscent to when Justin Anderson missed time toward the end of the 2014-15 season with a broken finger. Anderson returned for the ACC and NCAA tournaments but clearly wasn't himself, and the second-seeded Cavaliers lost to the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the Big Dance.

Anderson was more integral to that Virginia team than Hunter is this season, but it's another example of bad luck hitting head coach Tony Bennett at the worst possible time.

Virginia opens the NCAA tournament against the UMBC Retrievers on Friday.

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