Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in NCAA basketball history Sunday afternoon as the Cardinals faced the Duke Blue Devils in the Midwest Regional final of the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Ware’s injury stunned the crowd, both teams and the commentators when it occurred with about 6-and-a-half minutes to go in the first half of the game. While running out to defend a three-point shot by Duke’s Tyler Thornton, Ware landed awkwardly and his right leg bent and broke at an ugly and scary angle. The injury was so graphic that CBS did not show replays after he was wheeled off the floor.
The players for both teams reacted with shock and fear. The Louisville bench recoiled in horror as several of the players on court began openly crying for their injured teammate. Louisville coach Rick Pitino was seen visibly wiping away tears.
“The bone’s 6 inches out of his leg and all he’s yelling is, ‘Win the game, win the game,’” Pitino said. “I’ve not seen that in my life. … Pretty special young man.”
“Kevin Ware” immediately became a trending topic on Twitter. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann suffered one of the most infamous broken legs in sports history during a 1985 Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants. He tweeted his sympathy for Ware. “Watching Duke/Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware,” he said.