North Carolina's title hopes undone by injuries

By Aaron Beard

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 12:25 p.m. MDT

North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes sits in the locker room after the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Midwest Regional final against Kansas on Sunday, March 25, 2012, in St. Louis. Kansas won 80-67.

Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

North Carolina's loss to Kansas in the NCAA tournament ends a season that began with expectations for a title.

The Tar Heels were the preseason No. 1 with all five starters back. But injuries cut deeply into the team's depth all season, starting when Leslie McDonald was lost to a knee injury over the summer then continuing when starting guard Dexter Strickland went down to a knee injury in January.

Then Kendall Marshall suffered a broken right wrist in the NCAA tournament that ultimately doomed the Tar Heels.

Still, North Carolina (32-6) reached a regional final for the sixth time in eight years.

Senior Tyler Zeller will graduate, while it's possible junior John Henson and sophomores Harrison Barnes and Marshall could decide to enter the NBA draft.

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