An MRI on Sunday revealed the worst-case scenario for West Virginia forward Da'Sean Butler: a torn ACL.
Butler, injured in a collision with Duke's Brian Zoubek during the second half of Saturday's national semifinal game, also sustained a sprained MCL and two bone bruises. The senior finishes his career as the third-leading scorer in WVU history with 2,095 points.
If the image of West Virginia coach Bob Huggins tenderly consoling Butler on Saturday was simultaneously touching and a tad uncomfortable, we can all certainly empathize with the West Virginia star.
Instead of beginning preparation to try to work his way into the first round of this summer's NBA draft, Butler instead will have to begin rehab knowing it's unlikely a pro team will offer guaranteed money to a player deemed an injury risk.
Butler had played his way into first-round consideration with a spectacular senior season, sinking six game-winning shots, earning second-team All-American honors and leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four for the first time since 1959. Although his injury snuffed out any hope of a last-ditch West Virginia comeback on Saturday night, he was hopeful it would be nothing more than a sprain when he spoke to reporters in the locker room after the game.
"They think it's just a sprain," Butler said at the time.
Sadly, it wasn't.