GREENSBORO, N.C. — The left wrist injury John Henson sustained last week during the ACC tournament continues to improve, but North Carolina coach Roy Williams wasn't convinced the former Sickles High standout could play if the Tar Heels needed him today in their opener against Vermont.
Henson said he practiced through about 65 percent of UNC's workout Thursday morning.
"Hopefully it keeps on improving, and we'll see what happens (today)," he said.
UNC held Henson out of "live" work earlier this week, but let him participate in those situations, which more closely resemble a game, on Thursday. Williams said Henson didn't attempt a shot with his left hand, nor did he block a shot with his left hand.
After the practice, Henson told Williams he could play.
Asked how many questions he'd heard about his wrist, Henson said, "A lot. A lot. A lot. A lot. A lot."
Henson said his wrist felt about 60 percent healthy, and that he likely wouldn't play unless he felt at least 80 percent.
HAPPY FOR A HAIRCUT: Mike Scott and Jontel Evans are sporting new hairdos in Omaha, Neb., after making good on their promises to cut their hair if Virginia made it to the tournament.
Scott and Evans showed up at a team party on Selection Sunday with poofed-out hair, though the clippers were out an hour after the Cavaliers' West Region game against Florida was announced.
Scott vowed late last season not to get his hair cut until Virginia made the NCAAs.
"I don't know how the women, how you guys can do your hair," he said. "I was getting my hair done once a week, trying to get a new 'do' every game. I'm glad it's over."
Coach Tony Bennett said he likes the way Scott and Evans look: "They're a little more aerodynamic.''
pep band taunt: After Southern Mississippi lost to Kansas State, school president Martha Saunders apologized for chants by pep band members.
Several chanted "where's your green card" at Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez while he shot free throws. Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico and attended high school in Miami.
Saunders said the school "deeply regrets" the remarks, apologized to Rodriguez and promised quick discipline.
RECRUITING GIMMICK: Forget the posh locker room or beautiful court. St. Bonaventure's biggest edge in convincing Andrew Nicholson to play for the Bonnies was a new science building.
"It was just a perfect match," coach Mark Schmidt said.
The 6-foot-9 Nicholson is averaging 18.4 points, a key reason why the 14th-seeded Bonnies will meet No. 3 seed FSU today in the East Region in Nashville. And the Atlantic 10 player of the year who started as a chemistry major will finish with a degree in physics, a change made only because Nicholson faced three-hour chemistry labs this year.
"He has three more classes to graduate with a physics degree so he can be a physicist, whatever that does," Schmidt said.
PRESIDENTIAL PICKS: N.C. State is seeded 11th in the Midwest Region, but coach Mark Gottfried is feeling heat because his team is a popular choice by bracketologists that include President Barack Obama. Obama selected the Wolfpack to beat San Diego State today and make it to the round of 16. Gottfried sent a text to ESPN reporter Andy Katz about Obama's picks.
"I told him that the president's trying to get votes; I'm trying to get wins," he said jokingly.