Louisville guard Kevin Ware broke his right leg in the first half of the Cards' game against Duke Sunday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The scoreboard and the stakes became secondary in the first half of the Louisville-Duke Midwest Regional final Sunday in Indianapolis.
Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered a horrific fracture to his right leg while flying at Duke's Tyler Thornton and attempting to block his three-point field goal attempt.
The injury came with about 6:35 to play in the first half, and Louisville leading, 21-17. Ware, a sophomore guard, raced from the top of the key to chase Thornton on the right wing. Ware flew into the air, legs spread, waving his right arm. He landed on his right leg, which immediately buckled.
The play happened directly in front of the U of L bench. When Ware's seated teammates saw the injury, they leaned back and quickly looked away.
On the court, Chane Behanan dropped to his knees and put his forehead on the court. Wayne Blackshear squatted in the foul lane. Peyton Siva sat inside the foul circle. Siva appeared to lead the Louisville team in prayer.
Multiple players on both teams were crying as the game was stopped for about 10 minutes. Rick Pitino wiped aways tears as did Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Trainer Fred Hina, equipment manager Vince Tatum and teammate Luke Hancock attended to Ware on the court before he was placed on a stretcher and taken to Methodist Hospital, a nationally recognized trauma center located about two miles from Lucas Oil Stadium.
CBS Sports showed the replay several times and then stopped showing it. Twitter messages and prayers were sent to Ware from across the country, including good wishes from former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who suffered a similar injury in the NFL.
Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and former U of L running back Michael Bush also sent notes of encouragement, as did Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and comedian Kevin Hart.
Louisville leads Duke, 49-44, with 13:27 to play in the second half. The winner of the game will play Wichita State in the NCAA Final Four on Saturday.