Auburn’s Chuma Okeke out with torn ACL in left knee

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – MARCH 29: Chuma Okeke #5 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after suffering an injury against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Auburn forward Chuma Okeke will miss the remainder of the NCAA Tournament after tearing the ACL in his left knee late in the fifth-seeded Tigers’ regional semifinal victory over North Carolina.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore had already scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds when his knee buckled on the way to the basket Friday night. Okeke immediately grabbed it and rolled around on the floor, and his team and several Tar Heels players gathered around him.

Tigers coach Bruce Pearl said Okeke will have surgery Tuesday.

Auburn torched the Tar Heels with 17 3-pointers in its 97-80 semifinal victory. Now, the Tigers face second-seeded Kentucky on Sunday for a spot in their first Final Four.

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