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Marshall's pain partly emotional

ST. LOUIS — Kendall Marshall figures he would have been ready for the Final Four. Now that North Carolina's season is over, though, the injured point guard won't get the chance to find out.

"There was no doubt in my mind that once we won this game I was going to be ready to go next weekend," Marshall said after the Tar Heels' 80-67 loss to Kansas in the Midwest Region final Sunday. "But Kansas is going to the Final Four."

Marshall was in street clothes for the second straight game, his broken right wrist wrapped in a brace. He was sorely missed.

"You hate it for that kid," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "You hate it for the program, you hate it for the team."

The sophomore shut himself down because there was too much pain to catch a pass.

"It wasn't a toughness factor," he said. "If probably I had three or four days maybe it would have been closer. Even if I tried to play I wouldn't have been able to be effective."

Still, he blamed himself for the loss.

"It hurts," Marshall said. "I feel like I let my team down."

DODGING A BULLET: Top-seeded Kentucky got a scare when freshman star Anthony Davis went down with an injured left knee during the South Region win over Baylor.

The Wildcats were cruising when Davis banged knees with Baylor's Perry Jones III on a drive to the basket early in the second half.

Davis, who leads the nation in blocks, stayed down along the baseline, holding his knee and writhing in pain. He finally got up and limped to the bench, where the knee was stretched out and rubbed with an ointment by a trainer.

Kentucky fans held their breath, then let out a big cheer when Davis checked back into the game, having been out for only a couple of minutes.

"Knee is doing fine," Davis said after the game. "I just bumped knees with Perry Jones, and it started hurting real bad. But I knew my team needed me to play. I wasn't going to sit out."

UCONN WAITS: Connecticut should learn whether it's eligible to play in the 2013 NCAA Tournament within a week to 10 days, NCAA president Mark Emmert told

The deadline for the Huskies to submit their appeal to the NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance is today, Emmert said. But a UConn official told that the Huskies sent in the final appeal within the past two weeks.

UConn is the first high-profile school to receive a postseason ban due to a poor academic performance.

ELSEWHERE: Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian's condition has improved considerably since he suffered a mild heart attack Tuesday, family members said. Son Danny Tarkanian said his 81-year-old father was moved from intensive care to a regular room at Mountainview Hospital in Las Vegas because he's "doing a lot better."… Butler coach Brad Stevens said he is staying with the Bulldogs. Stevens said in a statement that he is already looking forward to next season. … Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy released a statement saying he has had "no discussions" about the coaching position at Alabama-Birmingham.

.Fast facts

Familiar foes

Kentucky will face their Bluegrass rival, Louisville, for the 44th time. UK has a 29-14 edge, including a 69-62 win this season. It will be the first time since 1954 (Penn State vs. La Salle) that two schools from the same state will face each other in the Final Four.

Source: ESPN Stats & Information; Elias Sports Bureau

Marshall's pain partly emotional 03/25/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 25, 2012 10:07pm]
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