You know, because there was another Tyler ready to step in.
That's the storyline from North Carolina's opener, that even though the top-ranked Tar Heels weren't exceptional or overwhelming they still cruised to an 86-71 victory over Penn sans Tyler Hansbrough and his stress reaction. In his place was Tyler Zeller, a McDonald's All-American who got a team-high 18 points while proving that stockpiling talent regardless of your needs is the absolute best way for a coach to run a program, which is why Roy Williams has been running one of the nation's best programs (first at Kansas, now at North Carolina) for the past two decades.
Did North Carolina need frontcourt help?
No, not really.
But Williams still went out and signed a pair of McDonald's All-American frontcourt players in Zeller and Ed Davis, meaning UNC now has two of the best first-year forwards (Zeller and Davis) and two of the best veteran forwards (Hansbrough and Deon Thompson) in the entire nation. And that's why the Tar Heels would almost certainly remain a national title contender even if Hansbrough never played again, because the talent from top to bottom is unmatched, proof being how the second-best Tyler on the team got 18 in his opener.