There were injuries to three key players on Thursday, two of whom play for teams currently fighting to remain on the right side of the bubble:
Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Indiana: Mosquera-Perea injured his knee in the second half of Indiana’s win over Northwestern on Thursday, the same knee that he injured and missed five weeks during the middle of the season:
After the game, Crean called the injury an aggravation of the previous injury Perea suffered, saying that Indiana’s starting center will be undergoing x-rays on the knee. Indiana takes on Maryland on Friday afternoon. The Hoosiers can still make the tournament with a loss, but a win over the Terps would lock them into a bid. They beat Maryland 89-70 at Assembly Hall earlier this year without Perea.
Kevon Looney, UCLA: Looney caught an elbow fighting for a rebound as the Bruins blew out USC and had to leave the game with what UCLA called a “facial injury”. He was taken at halftime of the game to get a CT scan on his face, and the results were not made available as of Thursday night. Here’s what he looked while on the bench:
It doesn’t seem to be all that bad of an injury, however. Teammate Tony Parker told the LA Times about Looney’s injury that he’s “not worried. He’s already ugly.” That would be good news, as Looney is arguably UCLA’s most valuable player, and the Bruins play No. 5 Arizona on Friday in a game they have to win if they are going to the NCAA tournament.
Cat Barber, N.C. State: The Wolfpack got blown out by Duke on Thursday night, which didn’t matter all that much as N.C. State has already locked up a bid to the NCAA tournament. The concern afterwards was the health of Cat Barber, who was clobbered by an Amile Jefferson screen and suffered what appeared to be a head injury:
Head coach Mark Gottfried did not have any updates on Barber’s condition after the game. Concussions are a concern with Barber, as he’s dealt with them at least once during his career with the Wolfpack. The good news? He has at least a week to get better, which hopefully means that he will be back by the time the NCAA tournament kicks off.