NC State's Diamond Johnson to miss opening of NCAAs because of injury

NC State point guard Diamond Johnson will miss the opening of the NCAA tournament due to injury, she announced Thursday night on Instagram ahead of the No. 7 seed Wolfpack's Friday first-round opener versus No. 10 seed Princeton.

Johnson -- who started her career at Rutgers -- was the 2022 ACC Sixth Woman of the Year and earned second-team all-conference honors this season as a junior. She has appeared in only 22 contests in 2022-23, last taking the floor Feb. 16 as she dealt with a lingering ankle injury.

"To my family, friends and fans i appreciate all the ongoing support that you've had for myself and my teammates on the court through this season," Johnson posted. "I will not be playing in the ncaa tournament this weekend and wanted to let everyone know. i have been rehabbing my injury and taking it week by week, although it hasn't been easy my support system has helped me get to this point both mentally and physically.

"We aren't done yet. I will be on the sidelines supporting my team and coaches as always!"

NC State head coach Wes Moore had previously indicated they wanted to shut down Johnson at the end of the regular season in hopes that she'd be healthy enough to play in the postseason. She has averaged 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game her junior year.

Then a 1-seed, NC State fell in an instant classic double-overtime thriller to UConn in the Elite Eight last year but lost four starters to graduation and the WNBA in the offseason. The Wolfpack have had an up-and-down campaign in 2022-23 and enter the NCAA tournament unranked and with a 20-11 record.

Johnson is the latest ACC standout to go down with an injury, as Notre Dame and Florida State announced earlier today that stars Olivia Miles and Ta'Niya Latson will also miss the NCAA tournament due to injury.