I could only stomach seeing that clip of Kevin Ware’s injury once. I pray for that young man’s full recovery and especially for his family, who weren’t in attendance at the Louisville game. He reportedly has already had a successful surgery and got to celebrate this victory with the trophy and his teammates.
When heartbreaking injuries like that happen so early in a game (it happened about 7 minutes in), it really changes the atmosphere. The players either use it as fuel or they play fearful and disengaged. The Big East champions stood tall and proud, avoiding an asterisk on this trip to the Final Four.
The Cards were only up by 3 at the half. So both teams were off their normal offensive and defensive playbook. Seth Curry was relatively absent and Mason Plumlee made some silly turnovers that cost Duke momentum. The overall feeling, both in Indianapolis and on Twitter, was to win this for Kevin Ware. Louisville came out the 2nd half on all cylinders. While the guard tandem of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva were all the rave, it was actually Gorgui Deng who really maintained the intensity. He had 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 4 blocks! Russ Smith played as he’s played all year, putting up 23 points off 14 shots and shot 75% from the line.
The Louisville Womens basketball team also are advancing in their tournament, after upsetting Britney Griner and Baylor. They take on the Lady Vols on Tuesday.