More (bad) news about Lawson…

Those amateur bracketologists out there that have North Carolina in their Final Four might want to re-think that pick. Ty Lawson is doubtful for the opening round game against Radford.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Wednesday there is a “huge, huge probability Ty Lawson will not play” in Thursday’s NCAA tournament opening round game against Radford because of the injury to Lawson’s right big toe.

“Some things would have to change drastically before I’d change my mind on that,” said Williams, whose No. 1-seeded Tar Heels face Radford at 2:50 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Williams said his point guard, the ACC’s Player of the Year, has been limited in the past two practices and wasn’t able to do any live drills against any of his teammates. Lawson was injured in practice on March 6.

Wait, it gets worse…

“He’s not the Ty that we’ve all seen,” guard Bobby Frasor said, “and that’s just being honest.”

“My shoes are filled with everything,” [Lawson] said. “It’s just pain when I’m cutting back and forth. When I’m running straight, it’s not as bad. I can deal with it. But cutting back and forth, that’s when the most pain comes.

“Last week, when we were in the ACC tournament, I was just thinking, when is this going to get better? It’s been like two weeks, and it’s still kind of tough to run on. It’s just draining to keep feeling like I’m doing all this stuff, getting up early in the morning for pool workouts and all this, and it’s still not getting better.”

Lawson sounds depressed, and that’s a bad, bad sign. Usually, the injured player is the most optimistic one of the bunch, but he admits that he’s having trouble cutting and that he’s getting down about the injury.

And then there’s the nature of the injury. Sore toes are notorious for lingering for a long time since they undergo so much impact during a game. So while there’s a chance that Lawson can gut it out and play on Thursday, Saturday, or even next week, there’s a good chance that he re-injures it or the toe swells up again after the game.

But then there’s this…

Lawson said he thinks he might be able to play Saturday because the last three days of rest have been a “big turnaround.” The latest he said he might return is next Saturday.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to play this week,” Lawson said. “Hopefully, I want to.”

“Lawson said that the thinks he might be able to play Saturday…”

I’m not sure what to make of that. Wanting to play and actually playing are two different things. Then there’s playing at a high level, and that’s another story. And the Tar Heels need him at or near 100% to make the Final Four, much less win a national championship.

I think they get knocked out in the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight. The Tar Heels to be in some serious trouble, folks.

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