NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament South Regional-Duke vs Houston

DALLAS -- Star Houston guard Jamal Shead, the Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the No. 1 seed Cougars' Sweet 16 game vs. No. 4 seed Duke on Friday night and had to be carried to the locker room by a pair of trainers. He did not return to the game and Houston went on to lose, 54-51.

Shead suffered the injury on a drive down the right side of the lane where his right ankle flipped out as he went up for a shot. He missed the shot attempt and lied writhing in pain for several minutes before making his way back for evaluation. 

"Grade four sprain," Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said postgame of Shead's diagnosis. "He is probably going to be out four to six weeks."

Shead exited the game with 6:38 remaining in the first half and with No. 1 seed Houston leading 16-10. Duke then closed on a 13-6 run to end the first half and led the Cougars 23-22 at halftime. 

Shead left the locker room before the second half with his leg elevated by a mobility scooter. He shed the scooter as he emerged from the locker room at halftime but during team warmups, he stood on the sideline with his sweats on and did not participate. Throughout the entire second half he did not stand up from the bench.

Shead underwent X-rays on the injured right ankle during the game and they were negative but a Grade 4 sprain can sometimes take months to heal properly. A team spokesperson said he would try to give it a go after halftime, but he sported a heavy limp coming out of the locker room and did not appear ready to enter the game at any point.

"I doubt any team in America has -- maybe Edey from Purdue -- that means as much to their team as Jamal means to this team," said Sampson after the loss. "There's just not another Jamal. He was the best player on the floor tonight. He's been the best player on the floor every game we've played this year except a few."

Shead averaged 12.9 points, 6.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game this season for the Cougars, whose season ended Friday with a 32-5 overall record, tied for the second-most wins in a season in school history.