Michigan State's Lucas ruptured Achilles' tendon
Michigan State star Kalin Lucas will miss the rest of the NCAA tournament after an MRI has confirmed he ruptured his left Achilles' tendon.
In Lucas' place on Sunday, Korie Lucious made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Spartans into the round of 16 with an 85-83 win over fourth-seeded Maryland.
Lucas was hurt late in the first half of that game when he landed awkwardly after a shot. He is a two-time All-Big Ten player and leads the Spartans in points and assists.
He will be sidelined for 4 to 6 months.
``We feel terrible for Kalin, he was having a great NCAA tournament,'' Spartans coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. ``The good news is there is no doubt he will make a full and complete recovery. He's a tough kid and he'll do everything necessary to return to his elite level.''
Earlier in the day, Izzo told The Associated Press Lucas would not play Friday against Northern Iowa even if the tests showed he had just a sprain. Izzo said there was a 90-percent chance the MRI would reveal a tear.
Lucious will start, walk-on Mike Kebler has to play more and versatile forward Draymond Green becomes even more valuable with the ball in his hands.
Michigan State advanced to the round of 16 for the ninth time in 13 seasons, and is two wins away from its sixth Final Four appearance since 1999.
The Spartans will play ninth-seeded Northern Iowa in the Midwest Regional semifinals on Friday in St. Louis, facing the team that knocked top-seeded Kansas out of their path.
Izzo hopes his team lost only Lucas.
Chris Allen was limited to just 4 minutes against the Terrapins because of an injury to the arch in his right foot, Delvon Roe hobbled on his surgically repaired right knee against them and Raymar Morgan played with a broken tooth.
``We've got a `MASH' unit,'' Izzo told The AP. ``The bottom of Chris' foot is purple, Delvon is playing on one leg and Raymar looks like a hockey player with his tooth cut in half. We think we can get Chris back - after showing toughness we've never seen from him - and we'll hold Delvon out of practice to let him rest as much as we can.''
The injured players are the same ones that drew Izzo's tough love this past season: The coach kicked Lucas out of a practice, suspended Allen during the Big Ten tournament and Lucious from a game at Penn State.
Now the Spartans will face the Panthers missing their star guard and perhaps Allen.
``We're going to need everybody we have in uniform to step up,'' Izzo said. ``There were times we had two walk-ons, a freshman and a sophomore on the court Sunday and that probably won't be the last time in the tournament. Northern Iowa is good, but thank God they're not a team that presses like Maryland.''