2022 NCAA Tournament Key First-Round Injuries & Each Player’s Value to the Point Spread

2022 NCAA Tournament Key First-Round Injuries & Each Player’s Value to the Point Spread article feature image

Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kerr Kriisa.

Every year there are a few players for each team who miss out on a few games or the entire tournament, which has impactful value on how lines are set.

The injuries below are accounted for in this model, using a version of John Hollinger’s value added formula that has been modified for college basketball. Essentially, it's using each Player Efficiency Rating (PER) to determine how much better from a point value they are compared to an average replacement player in college basketball.

Key Injury Values

Kerr Kriisa, Arizona: 0.35 Point Value

Kriisa is Arizona's starting point guard and main 3-point shooter, taking over 200 3-point attempts this year.

He went down with a brutal ankle injury in the Pac-12 Tournament, and his status for the Wildcats' opening-round game against Bryant or Wright State is unknown.

But hey, maybe you can diagnose it for yourself:

Not easy but doing everything I can to get back on the court with my brothers! Its March. Time to go!! @JustinKUofApic.twitter.com/DdUOsbOkW9

— Kerr (@KerrKriisa) March 14, 2022

Kriisa isn't as big of a loss as you might think. His minutes percentage is only 68%, with backup point guard Justin Kier playing about 20 minutes per game as well. So, Arizona has capable replacements for Kriisa, whose PER sits at only 12.7, which is slightly above the Division I average of 11.

Even if we look at win shares per 40 minutes, Kier is higher than Kriisa, so his 0.35 point value to the spread doesn't hurt Arizona a great deal.

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor: 1.56 Point Value

Baylor lost Tchatchoua on Feb. 12 against Texas, which is pretty detrimental to its title hopes.

Tchatchoua filled the sixth-man spot for the Bears and served as an incredible interior defender —something Baylor has struggled with all season long after allowing 66.8% at the rim, per Hoop-Math.

Tchatchoua led Baylor with a 23.9 PER and had the highest win share per 40 minutes on the team. S

o, considering there's a potential second-round matchup with Armando Bacot and North Carolina and a possible Elite Eight matchup with the best big man in college basketball in Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe, you can see why Tchatchoua is so valuable to Baylor.

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Kyle Young, Ohio State: 1.37 Point Value

Young has missed the last three games for the Buckeyes with a concussion, and his status for Friday's game against Loyola Chicago is up in the air.

He's in concussion protocol, but Ohio State captain Kyle Young is hoping to play against Loyola Chicago on Friday in the NCAA Tournament. https://t.co/qLvLeTBLRE

— CantonRep.com (@CantonRepdotcom) March 14, 2022

He's vitally important to Ohio State's success and depth. Young is the main sixth man, averaging about 18 minutes per game, but he has the second-highest PER on the team behind only EJ Liddell.

With him in the lineup, Ohio State's front line of Zed Key, Liddell and Young is a brutal matchup for any frontcourt.

As you can see, Young ranks very highly in a lot of key categories, so losing him against Loyola Chicago would be a pretty significant loss. Hence, why he's worth 1.37 points to the spread.

Image via ShotQuality.

DeVante' Jones- Michigan- 2.80 point value

Fifth year senior Devante Jones did not travel with the team to Indianapolis due to a concussion and is going to miss their Thursday game against Colorado State and their potential second round game if they get there.

Fifth-year senior point guard DeVante’ Jones did not travel with the team and is in concussion protocol, according to a Michigan team spokesman.

— TheWolverine.com (@TheWolverineOn3) March 16, 2022

Outside of Hunter Dickinson, Jones is the most valuable player on Michigan's roster. Jones has started all 31 games for Michigan and his 73% minutes % is third highest on the team. Additionally, his win shares per 40 minutes is second highest on team and he leads the Wolverines with 9.4 assists. So, it's safe to say his loss is pretty significant to the Wolverines.

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