Wichita State and Louisville, who face each other Saturday in Atlanta for one of the biggest college basketball games of the year, both shocked the country this weekend during Elite Eight matchups.
On Saturday, the Shockers wowed the world when they defeated Ohio State and, for the first time in 48 years, are heading to the Final Four.
On Sunday, the Cardinals stunned the nation when the team defeated Duke after guard Kevin Ware suffered a broken leg during the game in what many consider to be the most gruesome injury in NCAA tournament history.
The horrific injury, sustained when Ware landed awkwardly after trying to block a 3-point shot, caused him to break his leg in two places. His teammates openly wept, the arena fell silent, and fans and viewers expressed sentiments on social media and elsewhere to show their support.
Ware reportedly is resting Monday after a successful two-hour surgery to reset the bone and insert a rod into his tibia.
Of course, WSU fans in Wichita, Atlanta and beyond will be rooting Saturday evening for a Shocker win against Louisville.
But if there’s anything Shocker fans can understand, it’s the value of a player, the power of a win in the face of adversity — and the importance of kindness and sportsmanship.
And so, before that 5:09 p.m. Saturday tipoff, we’re inviting Shocker fans, Wichitans — you — to sign this digital note to Ware. Post a comment below to “sign” this digital e-card of sorts. It’s not yet known whether Ware will be able to travel with his team to Atlanta, where he played high school basketball. In the meantime, though, Shocker country joins the rest of the country in wishing him a speedy recovery.
Heal well, Ware.
Contributing: Associated Press