We've been thinking all evening about the Louisville game and for the life of us, we can't get past Kevin Ware.
We first realized something was wrong when we saw Tyler Thornton grimacing and rubbing his eye and we assumed that he had gotten poked in the peeper. Then we saw the Louisville kids sprawled in the lane and wondered if it had been one of those things where people had bumped heads, even though that didn't make sense since Thornton was near the Louisville bench.
Only then did the cameras and the broadcasters catch us up and then showed the sickening replay.
Pete Thamel tweeted that he thought some Louisville players vomited. And why not? Watching it on TV was very difficult; seeing his bone erupt from his leg could make anyone sick.
Rick Pitino said the bone was "six inches out" and that his recovery period would be a year. The leg was broken in two spots and doctors put a rod in his tibia.
We have a lot of respect for how his team gathered around him and cared for him. You can't fake that.
Ware faces a lot of rehab which, like Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, he'll mostly have to do himself. Or at least his efforts will dictate the quickness of his recovery. He'll have a lot of help from the Louisville staff. But next time he plays, he'll likely play in the ACC. It's going to be a long haul.
We'd like to suggest that Duke fans, or anyone really, take a moment to drop him a line of support. We expect Kenny Klein, the AD/SID for Men's Basketball, wouldn't mind forwarding mail. His address is Â firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to send something by post, you could send mail here:
Louisville Sports Information
University of Louisville
2100 South Floyd Street
SAC Room E203B
Louisville, KY 40208
As far as the game goes, Duke managed to hang in there until the second half despite Louisville's stunningly quick hands and feet. How many times did they run up behind a Duke player and either knock the ball loose or at least distract the Blue Devil?
The team we saw in Indianapolis is light years beyond the one Duke beat in the Bahamas earlier this season. Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are a devastating backcourt and their frontcourt is pretty impressive too.
As for Duke, stop and consider for a moment: Duke played with one senior (Seth Curry) in a boot for most of the season when he was away from the court and another (Ryan Kelly) in a boot from January to at least fairly recently.
Duke faced a lot of adversity and yet came within a half of making the Final Four.
They played hard, they played the right way and they didn't quit.
They showed the hearts of champions, in other words, even though they couldn't close the deal.
Duke fans have a lot to be proud of - and a lot to look forward to.