Report: Auburn's Chuma Okeke to miss rest of NCAA tournament with torn ACL
Bruce Pearl’s worst fears came true a day after his Auburn Tigers picked up a huge win against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA tournament. Sophomore forward Chuma Okeke reportedly has a torn ACL and will need surgery, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Following the team’s 97-80 win over North Carolina, Pearl indicated Okeke’s knee injury was serious. Pearl got emotional during a postgame interview, saying the win was “bittersweet” due to Okeke’s injury.
With a little over eight minutes to go in the second half, Okeke injured his knee while turning to the basket in the post. He laid on the floor in pain for a while before he was helped off. As Okeke left the court, players from North Carolina came over and wished him well in a show of good sportsmanship.
Losing Okeke is devastating for the Tigers. He led the team with 20 points before going down against North Carolina. On the season, Okeke was Auburn’s third-leading scorer, averaging 12 points per game. He was also the team’s leading rebounder, pulling down 6.8 boards per contest.
The Tigers won’t have much time to adjust, with a showdown against the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday.
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