Virginia loses key player to broken wrist three days before NCAA tournament

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ACC Sixth Man of the Year De'Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been ruled out for the NCAA Tournament with a broken left wrist, Virginia head coach Tony Benett announced Tuesday (March 13).

Hunter, earlier chosen ACC Sixth Man of the Year, apparently suffered the injury before or during the ACC Tournament this past weekend and will undergo surgery Monday.

The situation is somewhat reminiscent to when Justin Anderson missed time toward the end of the 2014-15 season with a broken finger. He was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

The most promising NBA prospect on college basketball's top-ranked team will miss the NCAA tournament. The 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman averaged 12.3 points per game since January 3, scoring both from the low block and from behind the arc.

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U.Va. (31-2), which is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, plays No. 16 seed Maryland Baltimore County Friday night in Charlotte, the South Region. Hunter was named ACC Co-Rookie of the Week following his 22-point performance at Miami on February 18.

The most memorable moment of Hunter's season was the dramatic game-winning 3-pointer he banked in at the buzzer to beat Louisville on March 1.

With Hunter out, U.Va. will likely rely even more on key bench players Nigel Johnson at guard and Mamadi Diakite at forward.