Auburn forward Chuma Okeke will miss much more basketball than what's left for Auburn in the NCAA Tournament.
An MRI Saturday revealed the sophomore tore his ACL in his left knee yesterday in a Sweet 16 win over 1-seed North Carolina. The injury will require surgery, scheduled for Tuesday.
The Athletic's Sham Charania was the first to report the news. Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl confirmed the news to reporters later in the day. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.
An Auburn team spokesperson told reporters Okeke will remain with the team in Kansas City for the Tigers' Elite Eight matchup with Kentucky on Sunday (1:20 p.m. CST, CBS).
The injury occurred with 8:08 remaining in Friday's win over the Tar Heels. Okeke's knee buckled as he came down from attempting a shot. After being consoled by players and coaches from both teams, he left the floor and did not return.
"I think in those moments, you begin to see what these guys are made of, both teams, the fabric," Pearl said. "We started to pray. We asked God to watch over our brother. And Carolina did it and our guys did it. Our guys said -- as soon as he went down, they said, 'Let's play.'... That was I think everybody's first thought. Wasn't about the score or the next possession. It was about our brother."
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