INDIANAPOLIS — Louisville guard Kevin Ware badly injured his lower right leg during the Midwest Regional final against Duke on Sunday and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher.
An official told several reporters that a bone snapped. Trainers immediately covered the leg with a towel and placed Ware on a backboard, then lifted him onto a stretcher.
The injury occurred with 6:33 left in the first half as Duke’s Tyler Thornton made a 3-pointer to get the Blue Devils within 21-20. Ware tried to contest the shot and his leg buckled when he landed, bending gruesomely.
The injury happened in front of the Louisville bench, and the Cardinals were overcome with emotion. Russ Smith collapsed onto the floor, along with several players, and was clearly crying as doctors attended to Ware. As Ware was being loaded onto a stretcher, the Cardinals gathered at midcourt until coach Rick Pitino called them over, saying that Ware wanted to talk to them before he left.
Pitino wiped away his eyes as Ware was wheeled out, as did several of the Louisville players.
Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who famously sustained a broken leg during a Monday night football game against the New York Giants, tweeted that, “Watching Duke/Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.”