Kevin Ware broken leg casts pall over Louisville-Duke game
INDIANAPOLIS — A gruesome injury that left Louisville guard Kevin Ware with a broken leg plunged Lucas Oil Stadium into horrified silence, with coach Rick Pitino wiping away tears and shocked teammates openly weeping during Sunday’s Midwest Regional final.
He was taken into surgery at Methodist Hospital after the game to repair the fracture. Team officials said the leg was broken in two places.
“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.”
Viewers who watched the injury on TV reacted on social networks and (hash)KevinWare shot to one of the top worldwide trending topics on Twitter. Video of the injury was posted on YouTube — CBS initially replayed it twice before changing course.
The brutal mishap occurred after Ware jumped to contest a 3-pointer by Tyler Thornton. Ware’s leg buckled when he landed, bending almost at a right angle. Nearly six seconds ran off the clock before the officials, at Pitino’s urging, stopped the game with 6:33 left in the first half.
“The bone was literally out. I saw white, it was literally out,” said Behanan, who collapsed to his hands and feet at the sight.
The two spoke at halftime.
“He said ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m good, I’ll have my surgery tonight,’” Behanan said. “Go win it for me.”
Two doctors speculated Ware might have had stress fractures that predisposed him to such a break. Pitino said it was the same injury former Louisville running back Michael Bush had in football. Bush, now with the Chicago Bears, has recovered to have a productive NFL career.
The injury happened right in front of Pitino and the Louisville bench, and several Cardinals were overcome with emotion.