In what was a turning into a classic NCAA Tournament battle between two of the sport’s biggest programs, everything stopped. Players dropped to the ground in tears. Then CBS showed the footage. In case you are at all squeamish, here’s what happened. Kevin Ware, a sophomore guard from the Bronx, went up, rather routinely, to contest a shot right in front of his coach Rick Pitino. When he came down, his leg seemed to snap in half below the knee. Not like a dislocated knee. A compound fracture, which is being called “a broken leg,” that medical staff could be seen promptly placing towels over. Gruesome. He is currently at an area hospital.
UPDATE: Via Yahoo’s Pat Forde:
Kenny Klein of U of L has hospital update: Kevin Ware’s pain is under control and he will likely have surgery tonight.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 31, 2013
UPDATE: Via Courier-Journal.com:
“His bone was sticking out of his shin,” said Richard Pitino, Florida International’s head coach and former U of L assistant who recruited Ware for the Cards and was sitting about 25 feet from where injury happened. “I’m only 30, but I’ve never seen something like that. It felt like cancelling the game. You feel almost silly cheering (after that).”…
The place, packed with rowdy, red-clad fans, had gone eerily silent but roared for Ware as he left for Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis.
He was accompanied by his girlfriend, who was summoned down from the stands, and Louisville’s team physician. A spokesman for the Cardinals said doctors “got his pain under control now and he’s resting comfortably,” being prepped for a likely surgery. As the game started back up, Pitino dropped to one knee on the sideline and wiped tears away.
The coach said during a halftime interview on CBS that Ware told the team as he was lying on the court: “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be OK. You guys go win this thing.”
The Cardinals ended up beating Duke 85-63, advancing to Final Four next week in Atlanta, where they’ll meet Wichita. We expect to hear more about Kevin’s status as it develops. Get better soon.