After a surprise run to the Final Four five years back, George Mason has been a popular pick to knock off the struggling Villanova Wildcats in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. But bring your white out and erasers if you've slotted in the Patriots already; two starters, the team's third and fourth leading scorers- small forward Luke Hancock and guard Andre Cornelius, were taken off the court during practice yesterday with ankle injuries. We had even heard that Hancock, who also leads the team with 4.3 assists per game, was wheeled off the court in an office chair.
Now Jim Larranaga has some depth in the backcourt, but there's no doubt that losing two starters will impact the Patriots rotation. And even if Hancock and Cornelius do return to the lineup for Friday' second-round game against Villanova, there health and minutes will be closely watched.
Villanova, on the other hand, returns Mouphtaou Yarou from an injury suffered against South Florida in the Big East Tournament. If Yarou continues to play passively, things could be problematic for the Wildcats, especially since guards Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes aren't been healthy either.