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Virginia Cavaliers lose De’Andre Hunter for 2018 NCAA Tournament

A major injury to No. 1 overall seed Virginia.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Virginia vs Clemson
Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers just lost a key player for the NCAA Tournament.

On Tuesday, the school announced that ACC Sixth Man of the Year De’Andre Hunter has been ruled out for the NCAA Tournament with a broken left wrist. That’s a major loss for the No. 1 overall seed Cavs, who enter the Big Dance with a 31-2 record and one of the top favorites to win the title.

Hunter averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 33 games for the top-ranked Cavaliers. He reached double figures in 16 games and was Virginia’s leading scorer six times. He scored in double figures in six of the last nine games, including a 22-point outing in a road win at Miami.

Hunter’s most memorable play of his freshman season was when he banked in a dramatic game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer at Louisville on March 1. He was also named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

This is a big loss for Virginia, who suddenly doesn’t look nearly as daunting for teams like the Kentucky Wildcats and Arizona Wildcats in the South Region.

Still, you never want to see this, especially when the Big Dance begins. Virginia looked poised to make it to the Final Four for the first time since 1984 and the first under head coach Tony Bennett.

The region feels a lot more up for grabs for teams like Arizona and Kentucky, one of which will almost certainly be waiting for the Cavs in the Sweet 16.

Now, the Cavs may have a hard time just getting by Creighton or Kansas State in the Round of 32.