INDIANAPOLIS -- Da'Sean Butler sat slumped on a stool in front of his locker at Lucas Oil Stadium late Saturday night, tears in his eyes and an ice bag on his left knee.
He was at the same time discouraged and hopeful.
"They checked it out here and they think it's just a sprain and a bruise," Butler said. "They'll look at it again more [Sunday], but I hope that's all it is."
The knee injury Butler suffered midway through the second half of West Virginia's 78-57 loss to Duke in the national semifinals was much worse.
The school announced Sunday that an MRI revealed a torn ACL, a sprain of the MCL and two bone bruises in his left knee.
The injury would seem to seriously jeopardize Butler's immediate hopes of playing in the NBA. Named last week to the Wooden All-America team and honored Saturday night as the Lowe's Senior Class Award Winner as the best senior player in the country, Butler's stock with the NBA had soared throughout the season. Once considered a marginal draft pick at all, the 6-foot-7 forward had recently appeared in the middle of the first round of multiple NBA mock drafts.
The injury, though, not only puts that standing in doubt, it will also prohibit Butler from taking part in any of the pre-draft workouts that often are the final determining factor in a player's draft status.
Butler finished his career with 2,095 points, third on the school's all-time list behind Jerry West and Hot Rod Hunley. He was also the auther of six game-winning shots during West Virginia's 31-7 season and its run to the Big East tournament title and the Final Four.