Kansas star freshman Joel Embiid is done for the season!!!
The regular season, that is.
Kansas head coach Bill Self announced on Monday that one of his two star freshmen will miss the final two games of the regular season with a back injury that was aggravated in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma State. Embiid initially hurt his back against TCU earlier this season and sat out three games as a result.
“I think he could return for the Big 12 tournament,” Self told ESPN.com. “But it shouldn’t impact the NCAA tournament.”
The Jayhawks have already clinched the Big 12 regular season title, and they shouldn’t have an issue beating Texas Tech at home or West Virginia on the road even with Embiid on the bench. To earn a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday, Kansas will likely need to win the Big 12 tournament, but even if they lose the next three games, the Jayhawks shouldn’t fall below a No. 2 or 3 seed.
Self is worried about winning the NCAA tournament, and the difference between a No. 1 seed and a No. 3 seed, especially this season, isn’t all that much. It’s more important for him to have a healthy Embiid at his disposal, which is precisely the reason that he won’t play for at least a week.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas