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Kentucky's Noel tears ACL, out for season

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 2:43 p.m.
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Guard Nerlens Noel of the Kentucky Wildcats is injured in the second half against the Florida Gators Feb.12, 2013 at Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Noel left the game and the Gators won 69-52. Getty Images

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky received the news it dreaded Wednesday when freshman forward Nerlens Noel was declared out for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee.

Noel tore his ACL on Tuesday night when No. 25 Kentucky lost at Florida. An MRI revealed the injury, and the 6-foot-10 forward will have surgery in the next two or three weeks.

The projected recovery period is six to eight months.

Noel's injury deals a serious postseason blow for the defending national champions, who had appeared to be gaining some footing after struggling earlier this season while trying to blend in four freshmen.

Leading the way defensively for the Wildcats was Noel, who began Tuesday first in the nation with 4.5 blocks per game.

The rookie took a positive approach to the diagnosis, posting on Twitter: “Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback! I love you all and can't thank y'all enough for the prayers.”

Noel was hurt with eight minutes left in the Wildcats' 69-52 loss to the seventh-ranked Gators. He ran into the basket support after blocking a layup from behind. Noel landed awkwardly, dropped to the floor and started screaming while clutching his knee.

Noel had eight points, six rebounds and three blocks before the injury.

“I've been coaching for 22 years, and this is the first injury we've had of this kind during the season, which makes it even more devastating,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement.

The question is if Kentucky (17-7, 8-3 Southeastern Conference) can bounce back from the devastating loss.

With Noel out, 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein now must man the post for Kentucky after spending most of the season as Noel's backup.

UConn center apologizes after incident

Connecticut center Enosch Wolf appeared in court Wednesday on charges of third-degree burglary, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

University police arrested Wolf just before 6 a.m. Monday after what they called a domestic dispute.

“I'm sorry for what I put the university through, what I put the coaches through, the people of the university, my teammates and my family,” Wolf said after his brief court appearance.

Wolf is not due back in court until March 20, after the basketball season is over. His attorney, Robert Britt, said Wolf continues to live on campus and take classes at the university.

Wolf, who is from Goettingen, Germany, had been a key contributor off the bench for the Huskies, following the transfer of Alex Oriakhi to Missouri in the offseason. He averaged 3.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22 games, starting three of them.

Tennessee acknowledges several violations

Tennessee self-reported 10 NCAA secondary violations, including three in men's basketball.

The university's compliance department posted the violations and subsequent punishments on its website Wednesday.

One of the men's basketball violations involved holding open individual skill instruction before a football game.

During that session, recruits making official visits were allowed to attempt shots while coaches were present. The others were inconsistencies in the camp registration process and prohibited grocery shopping services for student-athletes.

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