Kansas freshman C Joel Embiid won't play in today's NCAA Tournament game against Stanford, espn.com reported.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self told the website Saturday that Embiid, who is nursing a back injury, has been ruled out. The 7-footer sat out the final two regular-season games, and Self had maintained that Embiid likely would not play during the first weekend of the NCAAs.
Self also told espn.com that Embiid is questionable for the Sweet 16.
The Cameroon native averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds this season but hurt his back in Big 12 play then aggravated the injury toward the end of the regular season.
Jayhawks teammate Naadir Tharpe told espn.com that he is uncertain when Embiid, who was considered the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA draft, will return.
"We really don't know," Tharpe said. "Some days, he feels better than others. I don't know when he'll be back."
STEPPING UP: Embiid's absence is giving Tarik Black another chance.
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Memphis transfer, who had more fouls (26) than rebounds (24) through nine games, has filled in ably for Embiid, averaging nine points and 7.4 rebounds in five games while Embiid has been hobbled. He had 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting during Friday's 80-69 win over Eastern Kentucky.
"Nothing really goes as planned, but I've been very blessed and very fortunate to be out here in Kansas," Black said.
CYCLONES LOSE STAR: Iowa State F Georges Niang is out for the rest of the NCAA Tournament with a broken right foot suffered Friday night. Niang will need at least six weeks to recover. The sophomore averaged 16.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the season.
WILDCATS STARTER OKAY: Kentucky G Andrew Harrison plans to play today against top-seeded Wichita State after hurting his elbow late in Friday night's win over Kansas State. Harrison replied, "Yes, sir," when asked whether he planned to play.
MERCER CENTER DOUBTFUL: Senior C Monty Brown likely won't be available for today's game against Tennessee because of a possible concussion. Brown was injured late in the first half of the 14th-seeded Bears' 78-71 upset of third-seeded Duke on Friday in the Midwest Region. Coach Bob Hoffman said Brown "hasn't been completely ruled out but it doesn't look good."
BUCKEYE HEADING OVERSEAS: Ohio State coach Thad Matta announced that sophomore G Amedeo Della Valle is leaving the team to play professional ball in Europe.
BY THE NUMBERS: Syracuse has six NCAA Tournament losses to teams seeded 11th or lower, tied with UCLA and Oklahoma for most ever. Jim Boeheim is the first coach in NCAA Tournament history with six losses to double-digit seeds. … North Dakota State shot a season-worst 31.9 percent against San Diego State. The Bison entered as the best-shooting team in the nation at 51 percent. … Michigan hit a program NCAA Tournament-record 14 3-pointers. … St. Louis missed all 15 3-pointers, the most missed 3s without a make in NCAA Tournament history.
DIVISION III: Quardell Young drove the length of the court for a go-ahead layup with 0.9 seconds left, and Wisconsin-Whitewater (29-4) held off Williams (28-5) to win the Division III championship game 75-73 in Salem, Va.