NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Notebook: Virginia's Hunter out for NCAA Tournament

UVA’s De’Andre Hunter to miss NCAA Tournament with broken wrist

Isaiah Wilkins. Wilkins finished the season with a team-leading 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

Is it ideal that Virginia will be without a versatile player like Hunter so close to the start of the tournament?

Virginia (31-2), the No. 1 seed in the South, hasn't reached the Final Four since 1984, losing to a lower-seeded opponent in three of the past four tournaments as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. The freshman guard doesn't get the press that Kyle Guy or Ty Jerome do, but Hunter was an invaluable piece of Virginia's bench.

Hunter, a redshirt freshman, averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 33 games for the top-ranked Cavaliers.

UMBC (24-10) is coming off an America East title where it knocked off No. 1 seed Vermont 65-62 on Saturday and recorded 20 or more wins this season for only the fourth time in school history.

Another interesting lens with which to view Hunter's absence: When Villanova lost junior Phil Booth for a seven-game stretch, the Wildcats went 5-2, including a 95-79 win over No. 1 Xavier. Despite the hiatus, the connections between the two teams are noticeable. They are coached by Tony Bennett who is in his ninth season with Virginia.

A fast-rising National Basketball Association prospect, Hunter was also starting to flash an efficient three-point stroke, too.

"Everybody is capable in this tournament", Bennett said. Top-seeded UVA takes on Maryland-Baltimore County in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Charlotte. "And whoever it is or wherever it is, I don't know if we have a choice on that or not". That's what we have to do when we step up.

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