ST. LOUIS -- North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall said it was difficult watching from the bench as his team beat Ohio 73-65 on Friday. With his surgically repaired right wrist in a splint, he even had to be careful if he clapped.
"I had to pull back a couple of times, but I got a good fist-pump with my left hand going,'' he said. "That was my go-to a couple of times after a big play."
The sophomore, who fractured his wrist Sunday, would not talk about the state of his injury after the game, saying he wanted to concentrate on his team's victory. Meanwhile, coach Roy Williams said after the game that he has "no idea" if the Cousy Award finalist will be able to play in the NCAA Midwest Region finals on Sunday. The top-seeded Tar Heels will face No. 2 seed Kansas.
Asked if the player was able to do anything in the shootaround before the game, Williams said: "No."
"And I would love to give you guys an answer, but I really can't,'' he continued. "I have no idea. He is much better. And he's gotten off some of the medication and he's much better. He brushed his teeth today. He didn't jump down and do 10 one-handed pushups, which I told him he was going to have to do before I would let him play.
"Is there a chance he would play Sunday? There's a better chance he would play Sunday than it was today. I really didn't ever expect him to play today, but Oral Roberts University, they said expect a miracle, so I guess I was hoping for a miracle type of thing.
"But we tried to prepare all week that he was not going to play and that's what we'll try to prepare for for Sunday. But if he can play, needless to say, I would take him."
Marshall said Thursday there were two factors that would determine if he would tell Williams he was ready to play: pain, and range of motion.
He had surgery to insert a screw into the wrist Monday, and his hard cast was removed Wednesday. Doctors told him his injury is healing fine, that the bone is strong and the blood flow has been good. If he were to play, doctors told him he would not risk further damage, Marshall said.
If Marshall is once again a scratch Sunday, expect freshman Stilman White -- who recorded six assists, zero turnovers and two free throws in Friday's win -- to make his second straight start.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.