The North Carolina Tar Heels’ hopes of making it to the Elite Eight may have taken a bit of a hit on Thursday afternoon. A few hours ago, news broke that Nassir Little might not be able to play against the Auburn Tigers on Friday night due to a flu bug.
Carolina freshman forward Nassir Little will not practice today due to illness (flulike symptoms). He did not practice yesterday in Chapel Hill and his status for Friday’s game vs. Auburn is questionable. He will not be available today for interviews. pic.twitter.com/ikMWc5lQN9
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 28, 2019
Little has been one of North Carolina’s top players this season. The freshman from Orange Park, Florida averaged 10 points and 4.7 rebounds during the regular season, and he has been even better in the Tar Heels’ first two NCAA Tournament games. Little scored 19 points in UNC’s 88-73 First Round win over Iona and followed that up with 20 points in a 81-59 beatdown of Washington in the Second Round.
North Carolina has taken precautions to ensure that the flu doesn’t spread to the rest of the team. According to Tar Heel Illustrated, Little’s roommate Coby White was moved to another room to try to ensure that he wouldn’t be affected.
Nassir Little is back in the hotel with the flu and may not play tomorrow. Coby White, whom he was rooming with, was moved to a different room so he won’t get infected.
— Tar Heel Illustrated (@HeelIllustrated) March 28, 2019
Although Little has officially been declared questionable, there are some indications that he will play.
All of the players I spoke with expect Nassir Little to play tomorrow and said that he wouldn’t miss a game this big. Nassir is not practicing today due to flu like symptoms pic.twitter.com/roQmaY024Z
— Mary Dunleavy WRAL (@Mary_Dunleavy) March 28, 2019
Little averages less than 20 minutes a game, but is seen as a player that can provide instant offense. He is one of four Tar Heels averaging at least 10 points on the season, and not having him in the lineup would ding North Carolina’s depth in the frontcourt.